In The Indian Household Medicine Guide (J.I.Lighthall 1883) "Bitter Root" or "Wandering Milkweed" is described under Apocynum andros: "This is a common weed to all parts of the Union... The root is the medicinal part, and should be dug in the months of August and September... In large doses it will cause vomiting, and at the same time act as a cathartic, but properly given will cure dyspepsia and liver complaint, or torpid liver with constipation. Take two ounces of the root, put it in a quart of whisky, and after standing fourteen days take from a teaspoonful to a tablespoon three times a day."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ApocynumApocynum, commonly known as Indian hemp, is a genus of the plant family of the Apocynaceae with seven species. Its name is from the Greek: apo, away and cyno, attributed to its toxicity. The genus is native to North America, temperate Asia (China, Siberia, Kazakhstan, etc.), and SE Europe (Italy, Bulgaria,Ukraine, etc.).
Apocynum cannabinum was used as a source of fiber by Native Americans. Apocynum venetum(Chinese: 羅布麻) is used as an herbal tea in China. Dogbane contains cymarin, a cardiotonic agent used to treat cardiac arrhythmia in humans.