Introduction of Boneset:Agueweed or Sweating-plant.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Boneset, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Eupatorium perfoliatum L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Boneset, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


 English Name: Boneset.
 Latin Name: Eupatorium perfoliatum L.
 Common Names: Agueweed, Crosswort, Eupatorium, Feverwort, Gravelroot, Indian sage, Sweating plant, Thoroughwort, Vegetable antimony.
 Property and flavor: The taste is astringent and persistently bitter.

 Brief introduction: Eupatorium perfoliatum is a native plant of USA (the United States of America), the whole above-ground part is used, it got the name Boneset due to historical use in the treatment of dengue fever or breakbone fever.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Boneset as the dried above-ground part of the species (1).Eupatorium perfoliatum L. It is a plant species of the Eupatorium genus, the Asteraceae family (Compositae, or daisy family). The dried above-ground parts are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Eupatorium perfoliatum L.

 Botanical description: Eupatorium perfoliatum is a perennial herb, it has a horizontal piliferous rootstock. The stems are rough-haired and grow to about 40 cm, or 1.0 to 1.5 meters. The leaves are opposite, clasp the stems, 10 to 15 cm long, lanceolate, crenate, tapering to a narrow point, and fused at the base. There are some regin glands that grow on the undersurface of the leaves and form shiny yellow points.

 There are numerous flower heads in the terminal, large, and slightly convex cymose-paniculate inflorescence. They consist of 10 to 12 white, inconspicuous florets with bristly pappus whose hairs are arranged in a single row. The fruit is a tufted achene.

 Ecological environment: The plant is indigenous to the eastern USA and Canada. It if often found in moist, low ground, marshes, roadsides, swamps, wet pastures, wet woods, scrub, fens and damp grassland.

 Growth characteristics: Eupatorium perfoliatum grows in low, wet areas, and is often found near reed canary grass.

 Characters of herbs: Boneset is the whole above-ground part of the Eupatorium perfoliatum. It is commonly harvested from the wild field for local use and trade.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.antiphlogistic; ②.diaphoretic; ③.stimulate body's immune system; etc.

 Related studies proposed the herb could boost resistance to infection for its component eupatorin, it could stimulate the body's immune system by stimulating phagocytes, phagocytes are white blood cells that help destroy disease-causing agents. After drinking a hot boneset tea a person may start to sweat more, so it is still recommended for perspiration to relieve fever, but its traditionally recommended uses for relieving dengue fever, malaria, and other feverish conditions lack study support. Other studies found the herb has a weak anti-inflammatory effect in rats, and a cell-destroying and antitumor properties of boneset, but more research is needed.

 Medicinal efficacy: Boneset is used as a treatment for flu and febrile diseases in homeopathic applications. Traditionally, it was introduced to colonists by Native American folks, who used the plant for breaking fevers through heavy sweating. It was a very common remedy in USA in the 19th century, for in history it was ever used in treating dengue fever or breakbone fever, so it had a common name boneset. Traditionally it was used by Native American tribes for colds, flu, rheumatism, and fevers caused by diseases typhoid and dengue or breakbone fever, indigestion, and loss of appetite, it ever listed as a treatment for fever in US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1916 before the popularity of safer and more effective fever-reducers such as aspirin. Today it is recommended by herbalists to stimulate sweating, to relieve aches and pains of arthritis, colds, flu, and other minor inflammatory conditions, and viral and bacterial illnesses, used as a hot decoction.

 Administration of Boneset (Thoroughwort): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Boneset (Thoroughwort)
Herbal classic books: An infusion is prepared using 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped dried leaves per cup of water, drink up to three times daily. A tincture is taken in dosages of a half to 1 teaspoon up to three times daily. Boneset is also used in homeopathic preparations and dilutions.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: There are no records of health risks or side effects following the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. Sensitization from skin contact with the plant is possible, contact dermatitis from this member of the Asteraceae family is a risk. The herb can lead to enhanced outbreaks of sweat and diarrhea in therapeutic use. Small doses of boneset may promote urination and exert a mild laxative effect, large amounts may cause vomiting and potentially severe diarrhea. Fresh boneset must be avoided because its component tremerol can produce nausea, vomiting, muscle tremors, increased inspiration, and even fatal at high doses. As the plant dried, tremerol dissipates and the risk of poisoning is eliminated. The FDA classified boneset as a herb of "undefined safety", Eupatorium species may cause liver damage and even liver cancer as it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, long period of use even at very low levels may cause considerable harm. But it looks like no one appears to have actually suffered such liver damage from taking boneset, experts recommended against using the herb for more than two weeks at a time, or better not use any plant that contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and anyone with liver problems or a history of alcoholism better avoid it.




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  • 1.Introduction of Boneset:Agueweed or Sweating-plant.

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