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Pleurisy (Asclepias tuberosa)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

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

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Pleurisy (Asclepias tuberosa) is an herbaceous perennial that is found throughout most of the United States, except for the Pacific Northwest (1). 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 conditions or taking cardiac glycosides.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.