Boneset is a perennial plant that grows to about four or five feet tall with hairy stalks that branch at the top. The flowers are purplish-white and grow in compound umbels or clusters that bloom in June and July. The plant is very unusual looking, you see it you never forget it. It looks like a stalk of the plant is growing up through each leaf. Boneset belongs to the same botanical family as Echinacea and daisy (Asteraceae). People use the dried leaf and flowers to make medicine. The herb`s common name of boneset was derived from its ability to break the terrible fevers associated with influenza. These fevers were such in their severity that they were described as going to the bone or as bone fever. Native Americans also used boneset in the treatment of aches and pains of the structural system and in the healing of bones that had been broken.
The nutritional profile of boneset is interesting. It contains at least 23 nutrients. Among these nutrients are ash, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, niacin, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc.
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. The boneset plant has various medical properties such as analgesic, anti-bacterial, diaphoretic, febrifuge, immune stimulant, laxative and stimulant.
Boneset is both a diuretic and a laxative and it is used as an herbal remedy for relief of constipation as well as an herb that aids urine flow. It is thought that a hot tea is best for the treatment of colds and fevers, even though it does have a bitter taste. Teas are made by adding boiling water to approximately 1 to 2 grams of the herb (about 1/2 teaspoon). This is allowed to steep for a maximum of 15 minutes and then drunk. Three cups a day should not be exceeded.
Consult your health care provider before using this herb if pregnant or breast feeding and it should not be given to children although it was considered generally safe.