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Common Name: Thorny Skeletonweed
Pleiacanthus spinosus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Western N. America - Oregon to California, east to Montana and Arizona.
Sandy rocky soils under dry conditions at elevations of 1500 - 2800 metres in sagebrush scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland and yellow pine forest communities California[
The roots are diaphoretic[
]. A decoction of the crushed roots has been used in the treatment of colds[
]. A decoction of the crushed root has been used as a herbal steam bath to cause sweating in the treatment of colds, mumps and tuberculosis[
The leaves and stems are antiemetic, astringent and emetic[
]. A decoction of the plant tops has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[
]. The decoction has been used externally as an eyewash[
A poultice of the cottony fuzz (probably the seed floss) has been applied to sores and boils to promote their healing[
]. The cottony fuzz has also been placed in the cavity of an aching tooth to relieve the pain[