Asclepias curassavica. Garden Silkweed.
Description: Natural Order, Asclepiadaceae. This is a half-shrubby species of the silkweed, branching at the base, pubescent, three to five feet high. Leaves lance-linear, acuminate, long. Umbels solitary, lateral, shorter than the leaves, few-flowered. Flowers usually a brilliant scarlet, varying to almost white. It is a native of the West Indies; but is now cultivated in gardens for its stately and brilliant appearance.
Properties and Uses: Miss L. Dille, M. D., during a residence in Jamaica, became professionally acquainted with this plant. She tells me the roots are in all respects similar to those of the asclepias tuberosa, though she considers the currasavica preferable to the tuberosa. She used it quite extensively in practice there; and found it reliable in all cases for which the pleurisy root is given, though more inclined to act upon the bowels unless combined with some diffusive stimulant to secure for it an outward determination. The fresh root is quite a relaxing emetic. The article has been spoken of by Lindley, Rafinesque, and others, as an emeto-cathartic.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com