Pleurisy (Asclepias tuberosa)

background

Pleurisy (Asclepias tuberosa) is found throughout most of the United States, except for the Pacific Northwest. Among gardeners, the plant is better known as butterfly weed or butterfly milkweed, as its showy reddish-orange flowers attract butterflies. In the past, pleurisy was used for pulmonary conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis. However, there is insufficient evidence currently available in humans to support the use of pleurisy for any indication.
Some natural medicine textbooks say that pleurisy contains large amounts of cardiac glycosides; therefore, large doses should be avoided and pleurisy should be used cautiously in patients with cardiovascular (heart) conditions or taking cardiac glycosides.

Related Terms

Asclepiadaceae (family), Asclepias tuberose, butterfly milkweed, butterfly weed, chigger-weed, pleurisy root.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.