Honored for its striking orange flowers and powerful roots, Pleurisy seduces pollinators of all types. Its vibrancy and allure gave way to its alternative name of Butterfly Weed. Although Pleurisy’s flowers are dainty, its roots hold vigor. A staple in Native American cultures for thousands of years, Pleurisy holds amazing health benefits and a beautiful history.
Pleurisy’s Latin name/botanical name is Asclepias tuberosa. The genus name Asclepias is derived from the Greek God of Medicine, Asklepios. This God is a symbol of the ancient wisdom of plant medicine and the emergence of scientific medicine. The word Tuberosa is representative of its tuberous roots, which hold the beneficial constituents used in herbal medicine.
Pleurisy’s benefits were brought to light by Native Americans. Their symbiotic relationship with nature unraveled many medicinal plants that we still use today including a blueprint for pharmaceutical medicine. They used Pleurisy Root to support the pulmonary system and as a topical aid for skin discomforts.
When alchemizing this plant into medicine, the rhizome part of the plant is used, which is found directly on top of the root, just beneath the earth's surface. There are many constituents found in the rhizome of Pleurisy, but there are a couple stars of the show. This root contains two flavonoid favorites, Rutin and Quercetin. They both contain potent-free, radical scavenging properties and support a healthy inflammatory response. Since Pleurisy has an affinity for the lungs, it can aid in supporting our bronchial system at a foundational level when it's under distress. Pleurisy is a great ally to help dislodge excess mucus, support deeper breathing and overall lung health, promote sweating, help ease the urge to cough, and helps to expel excess gas from the digestive tract. It also contains inflammatory supportive properties sousing it in a topical cream can help to calm the skin.
Preparations and Formulas
When preparing as a tincture (extracted in alcohol or vegetable glycerin) or a decoction (extracted in hot water), only use the dried root. You may drink Pleurisy as a hot tea or use a tincture form for internal use.
Here at WishGarden, we use Pleurisy in our formulas Get Over It! and Serious Cough. Get Over It! is the perfect formula when you have a lingering "ick" that just won’t go away. It helps to dislodge stagnant mucus and strengthen the immune system so you can finally start feeling better! Serious Cough soothes bronchiole irritations, soothes the urge to cough, and acts as an expectorant.
If you’ve been wondering what plant allies to keep on hand to support seasonal wellness this year, Pleurisy deserves a spot in your cupboard!
Rebecca Younger aspires to spark an interest in herbs within her community through education and incorporating herbs into everyday life in exciting and innovative ways. She studied Herbal Medicine at Herbalism Roots in Denver. She is a customer journey representative at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.