Butterfly weed/pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa)
Parts used: Roots
Benefits: About a month ago I was hiking at a state park in Tennessee, and I came upon this glorious orange flower. I had to take a picture of it because I was so enchanted with its beauty and I intuitively knew that it had some medicinal benefit. I researched it when I got home and what do you know, it’s a standby in folk medicine and Native American herbalism! Pleurisy root is effective against respiratory infections, where it reduces inflammation and assists expectoration. It can be used in the treatment of bronchitis and other chest conditions, as well as pneumonia, influenza and - as the name suggests - pleurisy. The roots should be unearthed in early or mid-spring, then cleaned, split and dried in a shady spot. It combines well with cayenne, lobelia and grindelia in the treatment of respiratory congestion.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Parts used: Roots
Benefits: Sweet-tasting licorice root is one of my favorite plants and is an outstanding tonic for the endocrine system and reproductive system. It is particularly effective for relieving adrenal exhaustion, which is prevalent in those who suffer from depression. Licorice root supports the adrenals and will revitalize them if used over a period of weeks or months. It has constituents that are similar in function to the natural steriods in the human body.
Licorice is also highly regarded as a remedy for the respiratory system, and it is used as a soothing demulcent and anti-inflammitory remedy for a multitude of ailments including bronchial congestion, sore throat, coughs and inflammation of the digestive tract.
Suggested uses: Because of its extremely sweet flavor, licorice root is best used with other herbs. It is an excellent harmonzier - when used in multi-herb formulas, it alleviates unpleasant symptoms caused by the actions of harsher herbs without interfering with their beneficial qualities. It also ads a soothing quality to any syrup or tea its made with. For adrenal exhaustion/fatigue, drink 2-3 cups of tea made with licorice, astragalus, sasparilla, burdock root, and dandelion root. It can also be made into cough syrups for sore throats, mixed with pleurisy root and elecampane for deep-seated bronchial inflammation, and combined with marsh mallow root for digestive inflammation and ulcers.