Eupatorium perfoliatum or (Common) Boneset is a common perennial plant native to the Eastern United States and Canada, with a range from Nova Scotia to Florida, as well as from Louisiana and Texas through North Dakota. It is also called "agueweed", "feverwort" or "sweating-plant". It was introduced to American colonists by Indians who used the plant for breaking fevers by means of heavy sweating. It is nearly always found in low, wet areas and is often found near Phalaris arundinacea (Reed canary grass).
The Eupatorium perfoliatum plant grows about 1m tall, with leaves that clasp the stems and dense clusters of white heads held above the foliage.
The leaves growing together around the stem lead to a past superstition that wrapping the leaves in bandages around splints would help mend broken bones. Boneset also had other medical uses, and was a very common remedy in the United States in the 19th century. The common name boneset apparently derives from the plant's historical use in treating dengue fever (which is also known as breakbone).
Eupatorium perfoliatum was used in the traditional medicine of Native Americans and extracts are now used in herbal medicine for fever and colds. The effects of Eupatorium perfoliatum have not been confirmed by clinical study. However, animal studies and in vitro experiments with plant extracts indicate possible anti-inflammatory effects and activity against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria.
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- Audubon Society Field Guide To Wild Flowers - Eastern Region - 1979
- Mrs. M. Grieve (1931). "Boneset". A Modern Herbal.
- George Diggs, Barney Lipscomb, Robert O'Kennon (Author), Barney Lipscomb (Editor), Linny Heagy (1999). Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas. ISBN 978-1-889878-01-0.
- Hensel, Andreas; Maas, Mareike; Sendker, Jandirk; Lechtenberg, Matthias; Petereit, Frank; Deters, Alexandra; Schmidt, Thomas & Stark, Timo (2011). "Eupatorium perfoliatum L.: Phytochemistry, traditional use and current applications". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 138 (3): 641–651. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.10.002.
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