Boneset - Eupatorium perfoliatum (in the Asteraceae or Aster family)
Part used: Aerial part while in bud or flower.
Taste/smell: Nauseatingly bitter.
Tendencies: Cooling, drying.
Dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh plant liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day in a little water.
Mental picture and specific indications: Boneset is used for influenza and colds with night sweats, aching in both muscles and bones, fever and a full, large pulse. The tongue is coated yellow with a bitter taste. Tea form is optimal for colds and influenza.
Use: (a) Stimulating diaphoretic, (b) Cholagogue, (c) Choleretic, (d) Antispasmodic, (e) Diuretic, (f) Emetic and laxative in large doses.
It enhances iimmune system defences, making it beneficial for colds, influenza, intermittent fevers, rheumatism and pulmonary inflammation such as pleurisy with cough and sore chest. This plant was considered a miracle herb in 1918-1919 when it was successfully used for epidemic influenza.
Contraindications: Allergic hypersensitivity can result due to contact dermatitis from boneset or other Eupatorium spp. that contain sesquiterpene lactone constituents. It also contains tremerol, which can cause fatty degeneration of the liver and kidneys if chronically used or overdosed. Symptoms of toxicity are nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, thirst and constipation. Toxicity is reduced with drying. This plant should be used for acute conditions in small amounts only.