Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) medicinal uses and side effects

Eupatorium perfoliatum is a perennial plant which grows in moist areas and reaches a height of 100 cm. The leaves are opposite joined in pairs around the stem. It has a flat-topped cluster of flowers.

The flowering is from July to August. The flowers form a dense cluster above the leaves. It has a single stout stem. They use the flowers and the leaves for making medicines.

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) medicinal uses and side effects

Common name

The common name for this plant is boneset. The other names include thoroughwort, agueweed, sweating plant, wild sage and vegetable antimony.

Botanical name and family

The botanical name is Eupatorium perfoliatum. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.

Geological places where boneset herb grows

It is found in the temperate zones of North America. You find it growing in the region from Florida to Canada. It also grows in Nova Scotia, The Dakotas and Texas.

Eupatorium perfoliatum medicinal uses

The leaves and flowers of the plant find use in medicine. The flowers are dried before they use them. The medicinal property is due to the flavonoids, sterols, sesquiterpenes lactones, unsaturated alkaloids and glycosides.

  • Analgesic: Small amounts of the extract of the plant are useful for relieving pain. Beware overdosing as this might lead to complications.
  • Antibacterial: The sweating plant shows good bacteria fighting properties. Boil the flowers and leaves in water and use it as mouthwash.
  • Anti-inflammatory: The wild sage plant has anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful for a variety of medicinal applications.
  • Diaphoretic: The main purpose of the sweating plant is to make a person sweat. This is the way they treat the fever.
  • Febrifuge: You can use the Eupatorium perfoliatum to reduce fevers. People have used this since the olden times for countering fevers.
  • Immune stimulant: Improve the immune system of the person by giving a dose of the Boneset decoction. It augments the immune system and improves the resistance of the body to fight infections.
  • Laxative: The wild sage plant has a mild laxative effect. You can use it to cure constipation or rectify the bowel action.
  • Stimulant: Boneset plant shows a stimulating action on the metabolism. It improves the strength and gives them an energy boost.
  • Colds: One of the good things about the vegetable antimony is that it cures colds. Have the tea made from the leaves of this plant. Your cold will disappear.
  • Influenza: The antipyretic nature of the Boneset plant is useful for treating influenza. Take the powder in milk twice a day for best results.
  • Rheumatism: This is a disease of the bone. The sweating plant has the ability to bring down the swellings. So, it provides good results for people suffering from rheumatism.
  • Dyspepsia: If your stomach is giving any trouble, you must use the decoction of the dried flowers to make tea. Have it twice a day, and your digestion problems will disappear.
  • Dengue: Used for a long time to cure various kinds of fevers, the wild sage gets its name from this fever. Dengue is also called the break-bone fever; hence the name boneset.
  • Malaria: You can get relief from malaria by using the preparation made from the thoroughwort flowers. It reduces and keeps the fever under control.
  • Help to reduce fluid retention: One way to reduce the water retention in the body is by reducing the salt intake. Another is by adding the Eupatorium perfoliatum leaves to your daily diet. This will remove the stagnant water in the tissues of the body.
  • Treat pneumonia: Get relief from pneumonia by taking the preparation of the thoroughwort daily.
  • Cure acute bronchitis: People suffering from acute bronchitis will benefit from having the Eupatorium perfoliatum daily.
  • Cures anorexia: If you suffer from eating disorders, try taking the wild sage. It will correct your appetite and improve your digestion.
  • Typhoid fever: Use the boneset to reduce typhoid fever. It does this by inducing sweating.
  • Fights tumors: Flavonoids found in boneset have shown promise as a natural herbal remedy to help fight against tumors.
  • Good treatment for swine flu: Swine flu is influenza caused by the virus that infects the respiratory tracts of pigs. There is a decrease in the appetite and plenty of nasal secretion. Having Eupatorium perfoliatum preparations will help ease the symptoms.
  • Relief from the painful soreness of the eyeballs: When you have soreness in the eyeballs, you can relieve the symptoms by having the decoction of the wild sage flowers. Soak the flowers in water and leave it for half-an-hour. Wash your face with this water.
  • Migraine relief: For people suffering from a migraine, the wild sage gives good relief. Apply a hot pack also. This will help to bring down the pain fast.
  • Diuretic nature: The sweating plant has a diuretic nature meaning it makes you pass urine. It flushes out the toxins and helps rid of infections.
  • Treating various ailments related to bowels: Bowel complaint is a common one. You can solve this problem by taking the tea made from the leaves of the wild sage plant. Have this tea morning and night and get fast relief.
  • Uterus ailments: It helps the health of the uterus so women with uterus complaints must try the wild sage. Have the tea made with the powder of the leaves. Do this morning and evening.
  • Good for arthritis patients: Indications from the studies conducted on animals show that boneset reduces the symptoms of arthritis.
  • Used as a skin cream: The anti-inflammatory properties of boneset helps reduce the irritation of the skin. Since it also puts down bacterial infections, they are conducting more studies on its efficacy in subduing skin diseases.

Side effects and precautions

  • There is a small amount of pyrrolizidine. This has the potential to damage the liver. Try to avoid overdosing.
  • There is no major side effect observed in the Eupatorium perfoliatum. The taste is not pleasant, and a few people experienced nausea and vomiting.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the use of this herb.
  • Large doses of Boneset plant may cause emesis and catharsis.
  • It creates a severe diarrhea and indigestion in some people.
  • This plant can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and weakness.

It is best if you do not use the boneset for periods of more than six months. And, consult your healthcare provider before you begin any treatments.

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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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