Boneset (generic name)

treats Colds/flu
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Herbs & Supplements


Agueweed, Asteraceae (family), astragalin, common boneset, Compositae (family), crosswort, dendroidinic acid, eucannabinolide, eufoliatin, eufoliatorin, eupafolin, eupatorin, Eupatorium connatum Michx., Eupatorium perfoliatum, Eupatorium perfoliatum D2, euperfolide, euperfolitin, feverwort, flavonoids, gravelroot, hebenolide, helenalin, hyperoside, Indian sage, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, sesquiterpene lactones, snakeroot, sterols, sweat plant, sweating plant, tearal, teasel, thoroughwax, thoroughwort, thorough-stem, vegetable antimony, wild Isaac, wild sage, wood boneset.

Notes: Avoid confusion with gravel root (Eupatorium purpureum), which is also known as boneset. Snakeroot is a common name used for poisonous Eupatorium species, but boneset should not be confused with Ageratina spp., which are more commonly known as snakeroot.


Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) is native to eastern North America and was used by Native Americans to treat fevers, including dengue fever and malaria. Today, boneset is used primarily in homeopathic medicine for fevers, influenza (flu), digestive problems, and liver disorders. However, the use of boneset is limited because other drugs generally are more effective.

Boneset may be effective when taken by mouth as an immunostimulant and an anti-inflammatory agent. However, there is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of boneset for its other uses.

Products containing boneset have been placed in the "Herbs of Undefined Safety" category by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Colds/flu: Traditionally, boneset has been used to treat fevers and infectious diseases, such as colds and influenza. Preliminary study indicates that boneset may treat cold symptoms. Additional study is needed to confirm these results.
Grade: C


WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Animal bite (reptile), anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever reducer), antispasmodic, antiviral, arthritis, astringent, bitter tonic, broken bones, bronchitis (acute), carminative (digestive aid), catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane), cathartic (relieves constipation), cholagogue (stimulates bile flow), constipation, coughs, dengue (fever), diaphoretic (promotes sweating), diuretic, dysentery (severe diarrhea), dyspepsia (upset stomach), edema (swelling), emetic (induces vomiting), emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation), fevers (chronic), gastrointestinal distress, headache, HIV/AIDS, immunomodulator, jaundice, laxative, liver disease, malaria, migraine, muscle weakness, musculoskeletal pain, nasal inflammation, night sweats, parasites and worms, pneumonia, respiratory congestion, rheumatism, skin conditions, stimulant, tonic, typhoid, yellow fever.


Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for boneset. Boneset is used in the dried form and is available commercially as dried flowers and leaves, as a tincture (an alcohol solution), and in tablets and capsules. Boneset is usually taken as an infusion (tea) or tincture. Some sources state that boneset should not be taken for longer than two weeks at a time. Others say that continual use of boneset should be limited to a few weeks, at the most. No form of boneset is recommended for chronic use that lasts longer than six months. High quality scientific evidence is lacking in this area.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for boneset in children.

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