Health Guide

Pleurisy root

What is it?

Pleurisy Root is an herbal medicine used to treat lung infections, cough, fever, and the flu. It has also been used on the skin to remove warts. It can also be taken by mouth to treat menstrual cycle (monthly period) problems.

Other names for Pleurisy Root include: Asclepias and Asclepias Tuberosa.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Pleurisy Root you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Pleurisy Root. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Pleurisy Root, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Rash when put on the skin (7)
  • Vomiting (throwing up) or diarrhea when large amounts are taken or the fresh leaf tea is taken by mouth (1)
  • Call your doctor right away if you feel your heart is not beating normally (4,7)


1. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

2. Mabey R (ed): The Complete New Herbal. Elm Tree Books, London, UK; 1988.

3.Conway GA & Slocumb JC: Plants used as abortifacients and emmenagogues by Spanish New Mexicans. J Ethnopharmacol 1979; 1:241-261.

4. Costello CH & Butler CL: The estrogenic and uterine stimulating activity of Asclepias tuberosa. J Am Pharm Assoc Sci Ed 1949; 39:233-237.

5. Hassan WE & Reed HL: Studies on species of Asclepias VI. Toxicology, pathology and pharmacology. J Am Pharm Assoc Sci Ed 1952; 41:298-300.

6. Seiber JN et al: New cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) from Asclepias species. Plant Toxicol. Proceedings of the Aust/USA Poisonous Plants Symposium 1985; 427-437.

7. Michell J & Rook A: Botanical Dermatology. Greengrass, Vancouver, BC; 1979.

8. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 2nd ed. Eclectic Institute, Sandy, OR; 1998.

9. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

10. Wren RC: Potter's New Cyclopedia of botanical drugs and Preparations. Saffron Walden, Daniel; 1988.


Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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