The root of Asclepias tuberosa.—U.S.
Preparations.—An infusion. Tincture of Asclepias. Asclepin.
Dose.—The infusion may be taken freely. A drachm of the tincture added to ℥iv. of water may be given in teaspoonful doses. The dose of Asclepin is gr. ½ to gr. j.
Therapeutic Action.—The Asclepias is diaphoretic, expectorant and laxative. In addition to these properties, it is said to possess those of a subtonic, diuretic, carminative and antispasmodic character. These, as well as its cathartic properties, are too feeble to render it a reliable agent in cases requiring active remedies.
The Asclepias acts as a diaphoretic and expectorant without sensibly increasing the action of the heart and arteries, or heat of the surface. We have found it a mild, slow, but pretty sure diaphoretic, acting conspicuously upon the pulmonary mucous membrane, promoting expectoration. It rarely, if ever, produces profuse diaphoresis, but in a short time after it is administered, the skin will be observed to feel soft and cool, and slightly moist. It is a valuable remedy in pleurisy, pneumonia, bronchitis, and other pulmonary diseases, if given to the extent of producing a softened state of the skin, and free diaphoresis.
The Asclepias Syriaca is diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, and said to be anodyne; it is supposed to possess properties analogous to the preceding species. It has undoubtedly been too much neglected by the medical profession, its medical virtues justly entitling it to a notoriety which has not been awarded it. It appears to be diaphoretic and expectorant, like the preceding article, and it is said to exert an anodyne and soothing influence upon the system.