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Boneset BONESET  
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Botanical:  Eupatorium perfoliatum
Family:  Compositae (daisy) - Asteraceae (aster)
Other common names:  Feverwort, Sweating Plant, Agueweed, Vegetable Antimony, Thoroughwort, Indian Sage, Crosswort, Teasel, Wood Boneset

Long before there was aspirin, there was  Boneset!  In the nineteenth century, Boneset was 'the' standard household remedy in North America for coughs and colds.  Today the herb is still considered a valuable herbal treatment for coughs, flu symptoms, bronchitis and upper respiratory congestion.  Boneset has also long been used to reduce fever and ease the bodily aches and pains accompanying it.

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Boneset is a hardy perennial with long, erect stems and lanceolate leaves, with dense clusters of white flowerheads above the foliage that grow up to five feet in height.  This particular species of Eupatoria (perfoliatum) is a native of eastern North America and is a common and familiar plant that grows in low, damp meadows, swampy areas and along stream banks from Nova Scotia to Florida.  Boneset was a favorite of the North American tribes who introduced its medicinal benefits to the settlers.  The Menominees used Boneset to increase perspiration and reduce fever; the Iroquois and Mohegans liked it for fever and colds; the Alabamas believed it eased upset stomachs; and the Creeks used it to relieve body pain.  Its use became legendary among both Native Americans and settlers alike for its capacity to cause profuse perspiration, reduce fever, relieve colds and flu, loosen the bowels and treat malaria.  Its botanical genus, Eupatorium, may be traced to the ancient king, Mithridates Eupator, who first used another species of this genus as a medicine.  The plant's common name may is somewhat cloudy.  Some say it is derived from its use in treating a kind of influenza prevalent in the United States during the nineteenth century, known as "break-bone fever," which was characterized by pains that felt as if all the bones in the body were broken; others claim it is derived from the plant's historical use in treating dengue fever (a tropical disease caused by mosquitoes) that is also known as "breakbone."  During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Boneset was said to have no equal as a cough, cold and fever remedy, and in the nineteenth century, it was used extensively in American medical practice.  In 1887, Dr. Millspaugh wrote: "There is probably no plant in American domestic practice that has more extensive or frequent use than this (boneset)," and it was even listed in the United States Pharmacopeia.   Some of Boneset's constituents include astragalin, eupatorin (a bitter glucosidal), volatile oil, some tannic acid, gallic acid, rutin, quercetin, resin, gum, sugar, essential fatty acids and sesquiterpene lactones.

Beneficial Uses:
Boneset is an herbal decongestant that loosens phlegm and clears excess mucus.  Catarrhal conditions due to colds yield quickly to the healing effects of this wonderful plant, and it is a famous herbal remedy for influenza (and its symptoms), acute bronchitis, and it is also a highly recommended cold preventive.

As a mild laxative, Boneset is used to relieve constipation.  It is also considered an herbal diuretic that promotes urine flow, which helps to release toxins from the body.

Boneset's sweat-inducing properties make this plant one of the most valuable items in herbal medicine. By increasing perspiration, it reduces fever and further helps to clear the body of toxins through the skin.  Boneset not only reduces intermittent fever, but it also helps to relieve fever-induced aches and pains.

The sesquiterpene lactones in Boneset are thought to be an appetite stimulant, and in large enough doses, these substances were said to expel worms and parasites.

Research from the Institute of Molecular Biomedicine in Mexico investigated the effects of Boneset on parasitemia and specifically on the stronger and emerging drug-resistant strains of plasmodium, a form of malaria and one of the most important blood-borne parasitic diseases in the world (and a major public health problem).  They found significant inhibitory effect on parasite multiplication with a level of sixty percent for Eupatorium perfoliatum.  This science echoes and substantiates its historical use by Native Americans and settlers alike, who used the herb for treating malaria (caused by mosquitoes) and tropical use of the plant for dengue fever (another disease caused by mosquitoes).

Boneset is a mild, overall tonic that is said to have a calming effect on the body and has been useful for alleviating indigestion in older people.

Boneset is said to have anti-inflammatory properties when taken internally, and when used topically, it is said to relieve skin diseases.

Boneset Herbal Supplement should not be used by pregnant or nursing women nor by anyone on a long-term basis.  Those who are allergic to members of the Compositae (daisy) - Asteraceae (aster) families, should not take Boneset.

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