HISTORICAL MEDICAL USES
The dried and powered root used by Native Americans as a snuff to cause sneezing and thus relieve a head cold. Like Spreading Dogbane (A. Androsamifolium) the plant taken internally could produced anything from a mild diuretic and laxative effect to a purgative effect with profuse sweating depending on the dose and the potency of the plant. Even so some tribes used it as a tonic.
The Chickasaw and Choctaw reportedly used to treat syphilis by chewing the fresh root and swallowing the juice. It contains cymarin and apocannoside, glycosides that have shown anti-tumor activity.
Warning: Poisonous, possibly deadly, in sufficient doses.