Eupatorium perfoliatum

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-18 (EDT)

See Also Botanical Monographs

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) is commonly used for infections that settle in the bones causing aches and pains. To explore the characteristics, medicinal uses and prescribing considerations of this herb in more detail, check out the references indicated. [1] [2]


AKA E. connatum


Historical Uses:

Native Americans taught this remedy to early pioneers for colds and flus that "settled in the bones" causing aches, etc. They also used it to counter malaria, especially during shortages of quinine. It was also considered to have antihelmintic properties.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Immune Support:
  • Effective for fevers, flu, colds, acute infections such as bronchitis or measles, or when trying to induce vomiting.
  • Deep muscle/periosteal/bone pain along the rib cage associated with (epidemic) influenza/la grippe - used for pain, not inflammation.
  • Persistant embarrassed cough with chest pain (anterior/lateral ribs); may feel like bones are broken from influenza
  • Shortness of breath and difficult respiration with chest pain and a hard full pulse; skin is full (swollen), moist, hot
  • Cough with measles, asthma, hoarseness
  • It is used for mild constipation, appetite loss, indigestion, gastrointestinal spasm, intermittent headaches related to digestion (give small dose), rheumatism, and to stimulate digestion in alcoholics.
  • Urine frequency and turbidity
  • Other:

Prescribing Considerations

The information provided is intended to augment the treatment from a naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition, if you are on any prescription medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Formulations and Preparation

  • Tincture - 1-60 drops three times daily
  • Infusion - 60-120mL (2-4oz leaf or flower) as desired as an emetic
  • Syrup - 1-4g (30g fresh herb in 500mL water, simmer with 900g sugar): Sig. 1 tsp four times daily


The safety and prescribing considerations for Eupatorium perfoliatum include:[3], [4]

  • Generally regarded as safe.
  • Side-effects are not generally seen.
  • Drug-Herb Interactions are rare.


  1. Boon Heather, Smith Michael (2009) 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs: The Complete Natural Medicine Guide Second Edition Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research, CCNM Toronto.
  2. Godfrey Anthony, Saunders Paul, Barlow Kerry, Gowan Matt (2011) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine, Advanced Botanical Medicine. V3 CCNM Press, Toronto.
  3. Stargrove Mitchell Bebell, Treasure Jonathan, McKee Dwight L (2008) Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.
  4. Brinker Francis (1997) Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines, 4th Edition Eclectic Medical Publications.