Boneset or Thoroughwort (Eupatorium perfoliatum) is a medicinal plant native to eastern United States. It has hairy stem and many, loose flat topped white flowers. For medicinal purpose, the leaves and flowering tops are used. Boneset is used in form of cold infusion, tea and tincture. The herb is indicated in influenza, swine flu, acute bronchitis, nasal inflammation, rheumatism, fluid retention, fever, typhoid, yellow fever, malaria and dengue. It is beneficial in all conditions with pain in bones.
Eupatorium perfoliatum is used traditionally for treatment of break-bone fever or dengue and hence it named boneset. It is used in Homeopathy for treatment of flu, fever, pain in bones, fracture etc. Homeopathic medicine Eupatorium perfoliatum in potency of 30, 200 is indicated in cold, sore throat, malaria and dengue.
Other common Names
Boneset, Ague-Weed, Crossword, Feverwort, Indian Sage, Sweating Weed, Thoroughwort, Wild Isaac, Tea-Gel, Vegetable Antimony.
Plant description of Boneset
Upright perennial herb;erect stout, cylindrical hairy stem, 2 to 5 feet tall;leaves opposite, fuzzy, toothed, sessile and lanceolate in shape with acuminate tip, the opposite leaf pairs adjoining at their bases and encircling the stem node (perfoliate);Large, branching, flattened, white flower clusters with small cylindrical flower heads;Flower parts are indistinguishable;Stem often purple or purple-spotted;
Plant family: Asteraceae (aster);Sunflower family.
Native to: US wetlands.
Habitat: very common and familiar plant in low meadows and damp ground in North America, extending from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Plant type: Flowering perennial herb.
Bloom period: August – September.
Parts used for medicinal purpose: whole plant.
Constituents: volatile oil, some tannic acid, and Eupatorin, a bitter glucosidal principle, also resin, gum and sugar.
Therapeutic indications of boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum)
- Fever accompanied by aching bones and muscles
- Dengue, malaria, typhoid, yellow fever
- Rheumatoid and gouty arthritis
- Nasopharyngeal catarrh
- Congestion of the respiratory mucosa, acute bronchitis
- Colds and influenza
- Influenza with deep aching, and Pain in bones
Medicinal Properties of Boneset
- Antibacterial: effective against bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
- Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
- Antiperiodic: preventing periodic returns of disease.
- Antitussive: prevent or relieve a cough.
- Antiviral: effective against viruses.
- Aperient: used to relieve constipation.
- Diaphoretic: inducing perspiration.
- Diuretic: causing increased passing of urine.
- Emetic: causing vomiting.
- Expectorant: promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs.
- Hepatoprotective: protects liver.
- Immunostimulant: stimulate the immune system by inducing activation or increasing activity of any of its components.
- Tonic: give a feeling of vigour or well-being.
Medicinal Uses of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Boneset has some important medicinal properties such as diaphoretic (sweat causing), stimulant (raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body), laxative (loosen stools and increase bowel movements), diuretic (causing increased passing of urine), Expectorant, emetic (high doses), immune-stimulant. Internal intake of Boneset improves digestion and works as tonic for gastrointestinal tract.
Boneset show beneficial effects in intermittent fever, typhoid, yellow fever, influenza, malarial fever and dengue fever. The infusion prepared from leaves has tonifying effect on liver and gall bladder. The leaves infusion is useful in indigestion and fever. The leaves infusions is given early stages of colds and fevers, kidney problems and weakness.
- In low dose, boneset has tonic effect. For dengue, Eupatorium perfoliatum, is used as preventive and treatment medicine. It has no side effects.
- The hot tea or infusion induces sweat. The tea prepared from dried leaves of Boneset is used to treat cold, flu and fever. The tea has laxative action.
- The cold infusion is stimulant and tonic in small dose.
- The whole plant is applied topically for headaches and fevers.
- For broken bones, the plant is given internally and poultice is applied externally.
Dosage of Boneset plant
For internal administration, dried herb in given in dose of 1-2g three times daily in form of infusion/tea;2–4 teaspoon of fresh herb and 1–4 ml tincture (1: 5 in 45% alcohol) three times a day.
Traditionally for making tea, one tablespoon leaves are soaked in one cup hot water for fifteen water. It has bitter taste. When taken hot, this preparation causes sweat. The cold infusion is tonic for stomach, liver and respiratory system.
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) has a long history of documented medicinal use. It shows few or no side effects. Although in large doses it is emetic and purgative.
Contraindications of Boneset
- Large doses of herb can cause vomiting and loose motion.
- The use of this herb should be avoided in pregnancy.
- Herb should not be used for more than one week.
- Boneset plant may cause contact allergic dermatitis in persons hypersensitive to Asteraceae.