Sometimes, we get cold and flu and it’s no fun. But there are ways to avoid or at least minimize the symptoms. One traditional folk remedy for cold and flu is boneset tea, which has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments.
Boneset tea is made from the dried leaves and flowering tops of Eupatorium perfoliatum. This perennial plant grows wild in many parts of North America including most of the eastern United States and Canada. The plant also goes by other names such as feverwort and agueweed.
Here’s how you can make boneset tea at home and its benefits.
What is Boneset?
Common Boneset is one of many plants in the family (Asteraceae). It can be identified by its coarse, rough, hairy aspect, growing up to 6 feet tall. On our property we have it growing where there is rain runoff from our barn roof.
The leaves are what really define it: lance-shaped, taper-pointed, toothed, wrinkled, and very veiny are descriptors for the 4-8 inch leaves which are joined together at their bases around the stem of the plant. It looks like the stem just kind of pokes up through each leaf.
In August, it produces fragrant flower heads that open revealing small white tubular flowers in numerous heads arranged in a multi-branched cluster up to 10 inches wide.
What are the Benefits of Boneset Tea?
Boneset is used in herbal medicine to treat fevers, colds, arthritis, and gastrointestinal upsets.
Boneset is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant, and diaphoretic. Boneset makes a great tea to drink as a remedy for flu-like symptoms. It alleviates respiratory congestion, reduces fevers, and soothes aches.
Boneset stimulates a weak appetite and relieves constipation. It is particularly useful for patients with poor appetites, debility, and weakness of the abdominal muscles.
How Do You Make Boneset Tea?
Boneset tea is an infusion made from the dried leaves and flower tops of the boneset plant that can be used to treat colds, fevers, and flu. You can make the tea by pouring a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb, allowing it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink this as hot as possible during times of sickness. Because boneset is known as a bitter tonic, it won’t be a tea you drink for pleasure! I find it helpful to add a bit of honey to help make it more palatable.
Boneset is a wonderful herb, but it must be used in moderation. If you have liver problems or are pregnant or breastfeeding a baby, do not use this herb. Also, too strong a dose can potentially cause nausea and vomiting. Just cut it back next time. If you are allergic to chamomile, feverfew, or ragwort, you may well have an allergic reaction to boneset. Otherwise, as I always say – DO YOUR RESEARCH- and be wise! See my full disclaimer below. To your health!
Disclaimer: outdoorapothecary.com is informational in nature and is not to be regarded as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification.
Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this website. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the guidance of your qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.