Veterinarian Reviewed on June 7, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
The herb called Pleurisy Root is a perennial plant, which means it lasts for at least three seasons and has many medicinal values. It is the best known plant expectorant and is used to treat many inflammatory diseases like pleurisy, pneumonia, pulmonary and respiratory ailments. It is also known to release spasms from the respiratory airways, helps promote perspiration which cools down the body during high fever, clears air passages and cures uterine disorders as well.
The Origin of Pleurisy Root
Pleurisy Root is a milkweed and it originates from North America and Canada, however it is different from other milkweeds. It has a fleshy rooted texture and bears deep yellow and orange flowers that grow in dry and sandy soils. However the plant is considered to be quite sensitive and proper natural conditions are required to cultivate it. This is why it is considered to be a rare and protected plant in most of the states. The plant produces long edible seed pods and hermaphrodite flowers that attract bees and insects through its nectar; this is also how it reproduces. It is also known as Silkweed as the plant contains soft filaments known as silk from which its name originates. It is only the root of the Pleurisy plant that is used for medicinal purposes and is gray-brown in color, and spindle shaped with a knotty crown.
Ancient Uses of Pleurisy Root
The scientific name for Pleurisy root is Asclepias, and it got its name from the Greek healing God called Aesclepias. The plant root has been used historically for the treatments of pleurisy and pulmonary diseases. Later it got its recognition as a natural sweetener and also a sort of vegetable by the Canadians. The Natchez used them for curing pneumonia and was also used for Dysentery by the Catawba. The Native Americans used this herb for almost a thousand years before its European discovery.
Modern Uses of Pleurisy Root
The uses of Pleurisy root got listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia in the nineteenth century and it is mainly used for herbal medicines. However, it is also taken as a tonic herb. It is mainly used for treating Pleurisy as it reduces inflammation in the pleural membrane and also acts in the pulmonary and respiratory system treating Colds, bronchitis, Asthma etc. It also provides relief from dry cough, nasal blockage and throat problems. It is also good for the digestive system and is used for treating flatulence and indigestion.
Side Effects of Pleurisy Root
Out of its many benefits and uses there are certain side effects that should be considered before consuming Pleurisy Root solutions. An extra dose can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain as well as have other adverse effects. It can even cause irregular heart beat and end in respiratory paralysis and heart failure when taken in extremely large doses. Anyone with a heart condition or under treatment with digoxin may contract abnormal heart rhythm along with nausea and vomiting, hence it is advised not to take Pleurisy root medication under such circumstances. In addition Pleurisy Root should not be taken by pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan