Pleurisy root is a native of the U.S. and is most abundant in the southern states. Its brilliant orange flowers attract butterflies, therefore the name also given to it is butterfly-weed. It has been called America’s finest wild flower.
The ROOT is the only part used in medicine. When dried it is easily pulverized and has a bitter but not otherwise unpleasant taste. It yields its virtues readily to boiling water.
As the name implies, pleurisy root is a most valuable remedy in this disease, in which it mitigates the pain and relieves the difficulty in breathing.
It has long been popular in chest and lung troubles such as bronchitis, asthma, chronic cough, acute catarrh, pneumonia, consumption, pleuritis, peritonitis, membranous croup, colds and other pectoral affections, and is especially recommended in pulmonic catarrh. It is particularly helpful in the early stages. It exerts a specific action on the lungs, assisting expectoration and subduing inflammation. It is considered a near-specific in measles and has been used advantageously in acute rheumatism. In eruptive diseases, add ginger or cayenne.
It is said to be gently tonic and has been employed in pains of the stomach arising from flatulence, indigestion, and dysentery.
It influences the skin (sweat glands), the mucous and serous tissues. It influences a flow of blood toward the surface and will relax the capillaries and thereby relieve the heart and arteries of undue tension.
Securing a slow, steady perspiration and gradually easing excessive heat of the skin renders it very serviceable in febrile conditions such as typhus, scarlet, bilious, puerperal, lung and rheumatic fevers where the skin is hot and the pulse rigid.
Excellent in influenza is the following: mix together, all powdered, 2 oz. each pleurisy root and golden rod, 1/4 oz. ginger, 1 dr. capsicum. Give freely in warm infusion in the fever state, using 1 t. to 1 C. hot water. As improvement is shown, add a little more capsicum and decrease the relaxing pleurisy root. This is also useful in typhoid and bilious fevers.
A compound very effective in dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea with spasmodic pains is made as follows: 1 oz. pleurisy rt., 1/2 oz. ea. blue cohosh and wild yam and 1/4 oz. ginger. If powders are used, give in warm infusion using 1 t. to 1 C. hot water. If the herbs are used, use 1 oz. of the mixture to 1 pt. boiling water. Cover and keep warm. Take in wine-glassful doses every few hours. It is anti-spasmodic and will stimulate the menstrual flow.
When there is a tendency to decay or slough, pleurisy root is NOT the proper remedy to be used. It is useful in tonsilitis rather than diptheria; in feverish and inflamed conditions rather than in congestions and in cases possessing a stenic rather than an asthenic pulse.
Do NOT use pleurisy root where the skin is cold and the pulse is weak. A more stimulating remedy is called for in such conditions.
A fine preparation for fevers, either in children or adults, is made as follows: mix together 2 oz. powdered pleurisy root and 1/2 oz. ginger. For an adult use 1 t. to 1 C. hot water. Cover and allow to stand awhile. Drink warm, leaving the sediment. If more stimulation is needed, add a small portion of capsicum.