Boneset - Eupatorium perfoliatum


Eupatorium perfoliatum

Boneset helps relieve a cold/cough/flu/fever. It also helps fight a bacterial or viral infection.

  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Feverwort, Sweating Plant
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers, Stems & Leaves
  • Side Effects: Do not use for prolonged period of time. Excessive use could cause diarrhea and upset stomach.
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About Boneset

Boneset, known to the fancy botanist as Eupatorium perfoliatum, is an incredible perennial that owes its rights to the aster family, Asteraceae. The plant is identified by its tiny white-colored flowers that are framed in the form of a cluster. Paradoxically, its stem seems to be growing from the leaves that are arranged in paired form and joined from their bases.

Boneset won its amazing name due to its magical power of setting the bones when wrapped with the bandages around splint. The whole Boneset plant can grow up to a pleasing height of 39 inches. This hairy, clump-forming hero is utilized to treat various conditions. Predominantly, boneset is able to pace up the healing process of broken bones. Boneset has also been given the title of folk medicines as it has been witnessed to treat flu, fever, cough, constipation, and so forth. In the 18th century, boneset was employed in inducing diaphoresis to treat break-bone fever.

From root to flower, boneset is loaded with plenty of lucrative phytochemicals that are hailed for various pathological conditions. The arsenal of boneset includes polysaccharides, volatile oils, sesquiterpene lactones, triterpenes, alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids (such as quercetin, kaempferol, and derivatives of caffeic acid).


Boneset manifests a high-end growth when its seeds are sown in late summer or early fall in the garden bed. On the contrary, the seeds can be stratified indoors in a cold, moist environment, preferably freezer. After the stratification of 30 days, the seeds can be sown in the garden bed three weeks prior to the last expected frost date of the season. If seeds happen to germinate earlier, then they should be sown immediately outdoors or container.

Boneset wants nothing but good moist and rich soil with partial to full sun exposure. However, boneset has been seen to be drought-tolerant in the course of summer months.

The stratified seeds need light direly, so a thin layer of soil is splayed over the sown seeds to let the light reach them.

The seeds of boneset show fast germination, i.e. they can germinate within 7 to 14 days. The plant then grows up into a beautiful plant and manifests blooming from mid-summer to mid-fall.

The brilliant white flowers attract pollinating agents like butterflies and birds that permit the process of pollination to happen. Pollination is then chased by the fertilization which gives rise to the formation of seedpods that guarantee the perpetuation of the lifecycle of boneset.


Boneset plant is ready to harvest approximately 120 days after its germination. The aerial parts of the boneset plant are harvested after the plant has initiated the flowering process, specifically from early to mid-summer.

The roots of boneset are also of immense importance and they can be harvested anytime.

Both aerial and underground parts of the boneset plant are harvested because of their purported medicinal values. A garden snip or scissors are enough to snip off the leaves and flowers or the boneset plant.

The roots of the boneset plant are harvested by digging and harvesting the whole plant. A sharp pair of shears is employed to cut the roots according to the need of the time.

The flowers and leaves are dried in a cool and dry place to be later used as teas and tincture.


Boneset is employed as various dosage forms to enjoy its seemingly endless perks.

  • Tincture- Infuse fresh or dried Boneset flowers and leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place. 
  • Tea- A teaspoon is steeped in hot boiling water for at least 10 minutes. The herbs are strained out and the liquid is consumed in small doses. Honey can be added to lighten the bitter taste of the tea.
  • Decoction- Dried herbs are simmered in the water for a long period of time to set the tough ingredients free and let them infuse in the liquid. The herbs are strained the decocted liquid is consumed.
  • Salve- Boneset infused oil is used with other essential ingredients like beeswax and oils to form boneset salve.
  • Syrup- Dried boneset aerial parts are steeped for 8 to 12 hours. The herbs are strained and the liquid is simmered with sugar until half of it is left.
  • Infused oil- Boneset is covered with the carrier oil of choice to frame boneset infused oil.