Also known as the Indian Sage, Boneset gets its peculiar name from its ability to block or break bone fever. Originally used by Native American Indians, the herb also gained popularity among the Negro population in the Southern United States for its medicinal and healing properties. Boneset is traditionally used for ailments such as stomach problems, arthritis and rheumatic pain.
As it is mostly found in swampy areas, Boneset prefers moist and rich soils. In full growth, it reaches 2-4 feet high and requires intermittent periods of sunshine. The plant can easily be recognized by the peculiar arrangement of its leaves. These leaves and flowers are collected from the plant when the flowers start appearing.
Compounds of Boneset
Some of the active compounds in Boneset include Immunostimulatory polysaccharides and lactones. Because of its ability to incite the immune system, Boneset is used to fight both bacterial and viral infections. These herbal flavonoids have shown a capacity to fight tumors. It has been mainly used to fight fever that causes an ache in the bones. It is a bitter astringent tonic that has carminative and laxative properties.
Benefits of Boneset
Boneset has been used in traditional medicine as an effective expectorant, antispasmodic and antipyretic substance. It has a direct affect on the circulatory, urinary and structural systems. Patients suffering from indigestion and constipation have reported the beneficial effects of taking Boneset. For such people it is good to take this herb about thirty minutes before food as a cold infusion. Boneset works slowly but effectively. It is not habit forming.
When taken warm, it is almost like quinine and helps break up intermittent fever. Traditionally, the herb has been used for the treatment of fevers, chills and pneumonia. It also loosens thick mucous and phlegm deposits, and is effective in treating congestion, acute bronchitis and respiratory allergies.
History of Boneset
Boneset is a perennial plant that is commonly found in wet swampy areas in the Eastern part of North America. The herb is found in the moist thickets of Nova Scotia, Louisiana and North Dakota. Boneset was introduced to early settlers by Native Indians, who used it as a sweat-inducer to treat fever. The Indians used this as a treatment for all fever-inducing maladies like influenza, dengue and typhoid. Boneset has a very illustrious history as it was used successfully by the Confederate troops during the Civil Wars to treat fevers. A thick syrup made by combining Boneset, Ginseng and Anise was used to treat cough and cold in children.
Research has proved that Boneset helps the formation of White Blood Corpuscles in the body and thus kick starts the autoimmune system of the body. Some studies also show that Boneset has mildly anti-inflammatory properties.
Taking this herb for prolonged periods of time can trigger harmful effects. Boneset is found to contain Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and these have been found to cause damage to the liver or even cause cancer. Another possible side effect is the development of dermatitis in people who are prone to it.
However, in spite of the few contraindications, Boneset has been widely used in homeopathic treatments to treat herpes, back pain, bilious fever, fractures, diarrhea, indigestion, flu, ringworm and syphilis.