Pleurisy Root- Asclepias Tuberosa

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This Pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Pleurisy root - Asclepias tuberosa in the Asclepiadaceae or Milkweed family

Part used: Root.

Taste/smell: Slightly acrid, sweet.

Tendencies: Drying, cooling.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh strength liquid extract: 10-30 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Pleurisy root is indicated for hot, dry skin and difficult, painful breathing accompanying a fever and chest pains that are relieved by bending forward.

Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Diaphoretic, (c) Expectorant.

This herb induces peripheral capillary relaxation. It is used in respiratory conditions like bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy and influenza. This is a fantastic diaphoretic. I've seen feverish, dry patients dump buckets of sweat after using this herb.

This herb has some similar actions to cactus and lily of the valley in its ability to slow down and strengthen the heart beat. It may be useful in congestive heart failure. This also means it is an herb that can be toxic if used incorrectly.

Contraindications: Best used in acute conditions. Not for chronic use generally. It is contraindicated during pregnancy due to uterine stimulation reported in animal research.  Pleurisy root contains small amounts of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) and should be used with caution or not at all in cardiac conditions or with other cardiac drugs. An overdose can cause nausea and vomiting.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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