A tall, hardy plant, boneset has nothing to do with setting bones; it is used to treat fever. Native Americans took boneset for fever-producing illnesses such as cholera, dengue fever and typhoid. It then became one of the most popular herbs among the colonists, who kept it on hand for colds and other ailments that give rise to fever. Today herbalists still recommend boneset, also called feverwort and sweat plant, for the aches and pains that accompany fever, especially during bouts of influenza. Boneset also helps clear mucus from the respiratory tract. It is also often used for arthritis and rheumatism. Herbalists use the leaves and flower tops, which are harvested as soon as the plant blooms in late summer.
Taken internally for:
Over the counter:
Available in health food stores as dried leaves and flowers, and as tinctures.
Infusion: 1 cup of boiling water poured onto 2 to 3 tsp. of dried herb and steeped for 10 to 15 minutes, then consumed as hot as possible; no more than six cups in a 24-hour period. Can be mixed with an herbal tea or augmented with honey and lemon to mask the very bitter taste of boneset.