Boneset

BonesetNaive Americans and early settlers recognized the virtues of Boneset to treat a variety of conditions from ringworm to flu. Colonial Americans used a decoction (medicine prepared by boiling thick part of plant in water or some other liquid; ingested hot or cold) and/or poultice (soft, moist mass of plant parts wrapped in muslin or gauze and applied the skin) to treat snake bites. During the Civil War, when medical supplies were short, boneset tea was used by Confederate troops as a substitute for quinine in fighting fevers.  The tea brewed from Boneset was renowned as a cure for break-bone fever (an old-fashion term for an illness characterized by fever, joint and muscle pain) in the old South.  Hence the name boneset.  Thoroughwort was another early name because of its thoroughness in treating fevers.Boneset appears in the 1998 edition of the Physicians’ Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines.  The medicinal part is the herb after flowering. The herb acts as an anti-inflammatory, a diaphoretic and a bitter. Boneset is used in homeopathy as a treatment for flu and febrile diseases.

OtherCommonName:

Augewee, Crosswort, Feverwort, Indian Sage, Sweating Plant, Teasel, Thoroughwort, Vegetable Antimony

ScientificName:

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

1.5 to 5 fee

FruitingTime:

August to November

Distribution:

Quebec to Florida, North Dakota to Texas ~ Throughout NJ outside the central Pine Barrens

FloweringTime:

Late July to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Broad head of dull white, downy flowers ~ Leaves join on either side of the stalk as though the leaves were one piece and the stalk grows up through the middle.