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Eupatorium perfoliatum (Compositae)

BONESET, FEVERWORT, THOROUGHWORT

 

Herbalists now use it for fluey and rheumatic problems. Homeopaths also give it for malaria.

 

This North American herb was a boon to the early white settlers, who used it to treat a serious flu-like disease called break bone fever. This led to the name boneset, while the North American Indians called it ague weed. Native to the east coast of North America and growing in marshy soils, it is a perennial with spear-shaped leaves and small white or bluish flowers in late summer.

 

PARTS USED

Whole herb.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil, containing sesquiterpene lactones; glycoside, eupatorin; polysaccharides; flavonoids, including quercitin, kaempferol, and rutin.

 

ACTIONS

Dilates peripheral (local) blood vessels; induces sweating; increases the flow of bile; reduces muscle tension and spasm; mild laxative.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Particularly used for flu associated with muscle pain. It is also given for bronchitis, persistent nasal catarrh, and rheumatic conditions made worse by damp. Chinese medicine uses it for summer colds, heatstroke, tightness of the chest, and bad breath. In homeopathy, Eupatorium is prescribed for flu and malaria.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture, homeopathic remedies.

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