Pleurisy root is native to North America and has bright and bold orange and sometimes yellow flowers. Also known as Butterfly Weed, this beauty attracts butterflies and bees in large numbers when it blooms.
Pleurisy Root is also a valuable herbal remedy and is an excellent support for respiratory infections as well as chronic infections of the chest with stagnant phlegm and a dry cough. Butterfly Weed provides relief for those suffering from pleurisy, as well as pneumonia, asthma and intercostal rheumatism. Herbalist Matthew Wood shares that “Native Americans considered Pleurisy Root to be one of the most valuable medicines in treating lung disorders. After the colonists learned of this remedy from the Native Americans, it became a popular folk remedy for respiratory disorders, particularly pleurisy, hence its common name. This plant quickly became incorporated into the materia medica of almost all the medical schools, including the botanic physicians, eclectics, homeopaths, and physio-medicalists.”
Pleurisy root is considered endangered in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont and is on the United Plant Savers "to watch" list. Growing this plant has an important place in preserving needed herbal medicines and butterfly/bee forage and is postulated to be a particularly helpful plant for COVID-19 and other SARS/MERS like viruses that seem to attack the lungs.
Flower Pic Credit: Erin O'Hara & Jessica Manchester