Also known as Eupatorium perfoliatum, por huesos, Agueweed, Hempweed, Indian Sage, and Thoroughwort.
Introduction Native to Eastern and Central North America, boneset is a perennial daisy, growing 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm) tall with a long, hairy stem topped with white flower heads of 10 to 20 blossoms from June to September. Its common name derives from its historical use in treating a viral infection known as "break-bone fever." Break bone fever is now more commonly known as Dengue fever. According to Pliny the Elder, the Latin nameEupatorium is derived from Eupater, a 1st century B.C.E. king of Pontus, who was famous for his herbal skills and is reported to be the first one to use a plant of this genus for liver complaints.
Constituents Boneset contains sesquiterpene lactones, such as euperfolin, euperfolitin, and eufoliatin, as well as polysaccharides and flavonoids.
Parts Used The entire plant is medicinal, including leaf, stem and flower, but typically only the above-ground parts are collected. The herb is dried and chopped.
Typical Preparations Whole herb in capsules, teas, and tinctures. The tea is very bitter.
Summary Not really used to treat broken bones, boneset is nonetheless an excellent remedy for colds and congestion. Boneset treats colds by raising body temperature to kill the colds virus, but it also treats fevers by inducing perspiration to lower body temperature. The polysaccharides in boneset activate T-cells to fight bacterial infections. English folklore notes that the leaves can be burned to get rid of wasps and flies. Civil war troops were known to use it before the advent of aspirin for aches and fever.
Precautions Boneset is most effective when taken on the first day of symptoms. Safety for pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under the age of 6, or persons with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning Boneset, please visit this excellent resource from Botanical.com. Used with full, written permission.