The pleurisy plant was named because of its successful treatment of pleurisy, or painful inflammation of the lungs and chest. It grows in clumps that are between 1 and 3 feet tall, and has bright yellow-orange or orange flowers that grow in clusters. The stems are hairy, and the leaves are narrow. Even though pleurisy root is sometimes called milkweed, the stems do not produce milky sap like other types of milkweed. The medicinal properties of this plant can be gained through the root. Other common names include butterfly weed, swallow-wort, orange milkweed, colic root, wind root, and tuber root.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Northern Mexico, Ontario, Quebec, and all US states except Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Alaska
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antispasmodic, analgesic, febrifuge, and treats respiratory infections, cough, uterine conditions, flu (especially swine flu)
This plant is rarely encapsulated; it is usually available in teas and extracts. Traditionally, it was used by the indigenous American tribes who harvested it wild, and then dried the rhizome from the root and ground it up to make a topical paste. Pleurisy flowers, leaves, and young seedpods are edible, and they are best consumed cooked. It has been said that the pods taste similar to sweet peas. The roots of the plant can be harvested in the fall, and they can be dried to use in the future. For all conditions, pour 1 cup boiling water over
1 teaspoon dried pleurisy root powder. Drink 3 cups per day.