This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Butterfly-weed, Wind-root, Tuber-root.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This plant has a perennial, large, fleshy, white, fusiform root, from which numerous stems arise, growing from one to three feet high, which are more or less erect, round, hairy, green or red, and growing in bunches from the root. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, hairy, dark green above, and paler beneath. The flowers are numerous, erect, and of a beautifully bright orange color. The fruit is a long, narrow, green follicle. Seeds are ovate, and terminate in long silken hairs.
History. -- It is a native of the United States, more particularly of the Southern States, inhabiting gravelly and sandy soils, and flowering in July and August. The root is the medicinal part. When fresh it has a disagreeable, slightly acrimonious taste, but when dried the taste is slightly bitter. Boiling water extracts its virtues. Asclepin is the active principle.
Properties and Uses. -- Pleurisy Root is much used in decoction or infusion, for the purpose of promoting perspiration and expectoration in diseases of the respiratory organs, especially pleurisy, inflammation of the lungs, catarrhal affections, consumption, etc. It is likewise carminative, tonic, diuretic, and antispasmodic, but does not stimulate. Acute rheumatism, fever, dysentery, etc., are benefited by a free use of the warm infusion. It is also highly efficacious in some cases of dyspepsia. In uterine difficulties it has also been found of great value. Its chief use, however, is in bronchial and pulmonary complaints, and it serves its indications in these complaints most admirably. It is one of the ingredients of my Acacian Balsam. See page 469.
Dose. -- Of the powder, twenty to sixty grains, three or four times a day. Of a strong tincture, one or two wineglasses full four or five times a day, until perspiration is produced.