Information on Pleurisy Root

Latin NameAsclepias tuberosa
Other NamesButterfly weed
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb.
AffectsRespiratory system
CautionsContraindicated during pregnancy. May cause nausea and vomiting.
Botanical InfoA milkweed family member with rough, hairy leaves and flat-topped clusters of orange flowers.
DescriptionTrue to its name, this root is used mainly to treat pleurisy and inflammation of the lungs and to alleviate breathing difficulties. The Eclectic doctors used it to lower fevers as a diaphoretic, for the acute stages of bronchitis and pneumonia, for dry asthma with fever, as well as for a number of other complaints.

Pleurisy root has a taste of ACRID, BITTER and a temperature of COOL.


Infusion1 cup 3-4 x daily
Tincture2-5 droppersful daily

Ailments Treated by Pleurisy Root

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Pleurisyexpectoranttea, tincture
Bronchitisexpectoranttincture, tea


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.