What is Pleurisy Root?
Pleurisy or butterfly weed is a fleshy rooted, perennial plant, growing 1 to 1 ½ feet and bearing corymbs of deep yellow and orange flowers. Pleurisy, being in the milkweed family, are a favorite flower of butterflies, especially the Monarch. The plant is a variety of milkweed and is native to North and South America, as well as parts of Africa. The young shoots, flower buds and stems of this plant are edible.
Throughout history, pleurisy root has been regarded as a valuable medicinal plant. It’s one of the most important of the indigenous American remedies. The root possesses a specific action on the lungs, assisting expectoration, combating inflammation and exerting a general mild tonic effect on the system, making it valuable in all chest complaints (coughs, bronchitis, influenza). Pleurisy also mitigates pain and relieves the difficulty of breathing. It is also recommended in pulmonary catarrh. The plant also promotes sweating.
Pleurisy has also been used to combat diarrhea, dysentery, chronic rheumatism and eczema.