Medicinal Benefits of Boneset

By Staff
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This year I grew some new plants, Boneset being one of them. It was soooo easy to grow from a plant that I purchased in North Carolina.

<p/>This spicy, clear, low-fat soup is adapted from traditional Thai cooking techniques. This particular version is anything but wimpy. Heat lovers should feel free to increase the amount of ginger or the amount and type of peppers used. </p>
<p>• 3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed<br />• 2 bunches scallions<br />• 6 cups water, or mushroom or other stock<br />• 1/2 to 1 cup cooked black, white, or kidney beans<br />• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice<br />• 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce<br />• 1 1/4-inch chunk of fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated<br />• 2 or 3 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and cut into rings<br />• 2 tablespoons minced jalapeños<br />• 1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper<br />• 1 tablespoon brown sugar<br />• 3 tablespoons fresh chopped broadleaf or poreleaf, or 3 teaspoons dried</p>
<p>1. Cut the lemongrass stalks into the largest size that will fit into the pot. Wrap in a clean cloth and roll with a rolling pin to break down the fibers. Chop the white part of the scallions into small rings; chop the green parts and reserve for garnish.she</p>
<p>2. Combine all but the last two ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalks. Stir in the sweetener and the poreleaf. Taste; the soup should be strongly pungent, sour, and appropriately salty. Adjust the flavor as required with additional lime juice, sweetener, or tamari.</p>
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<p><em>Louise Gruenberg lives in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She recently won first place in the International Herb Association’s 2000 Book Award Contest for her book, Herbal Home Hints (Rodale, 1999).</em></p>
<p>Click here main article, <a title=Cilantro Cousin: Aromatic Papalo Adds Variety to Gardens and Cooking

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I harvested the aerial parts(all parts above the soil) and have it drying on a rack in my kitchen right now.

Boneset is a must have herb for colds and flu! Here is a mongraph on Boneset with info that I have collected from my experience and from sources credited at the end of this post.

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

Boneset can grow to about 4 ft tall. It has a thick, rough textured stem. The leaves are opposite, slightly toothed, elongated diamond shaped and joined at the stem. appearing as if the stem is punctured through the leaves.

In Georgia, we do have some wild boneset varieties that are not E. perfoliatum. To id, look carefully at the leaves arranged on the stem to make sure the leaves join at the stem.

So what does the name “Boneset” mean? Think about when you have a bad cold or the flu. You hurt allover the body, fever, chills right down to the bones right? Boneset is known to fix all of that with its analgesic and diaphoretic properties – helps you sweat it out. 😉

Cautions though – too much boneset at once can cause you to vomit! So small, frequent doses are best.

Boneset is a bitter herb so a tea should be sweetened or it can be made into a syrup. Recipe on

This herb is known to help:

  • induce sweating in fevers, colds and flu
  • stimulate immune system
  • malaria
  • rheumatism
  • muscle pains
  • spasms
  • pneumonia
  • pleurisy
  •  gout

For fevers & colds – make a tea using 1-2 teaspoons dried boneset(can be purchased here) or 1 tablespoon fresh to one cup of water. Steep covered for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten. Drink 1/2 cup every hour, as hot as you can stand it, until symptoms improve.

For digestive system – to improve or stimulate digestion, take 2 tablespoons of warm tea after meals daily for 3-6 months or as needed.

References: Bella Vista Farm, Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians by Patricia Kyritsi Howell, Petersons Field Guide Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster & James A. Duke

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