BONESET: “For Colds and Flu”

Arthritis, Colds, Flu

Also Known As: Feverwort and Sweet Plant


If you’re thinking boneset has anything to do with broken bones, it doesn’t. This herb helps treat minor viral and bacterial illness by revving up the immune’s system response to infection.

Native American’s introduced bonset to early colonists as a sweat inducer and for treatment of fevers. They also used it for influenza, cholera, malaria, arthritis, ingestion, constipation, loss of appetite and typhoid fever. Settlers adopted boneset and it was one of America’s most popular healing herb. During the civil war soldiers used it to treat fevers and to keep them healthy.


To treat flu,colds, arthritis and inflammation, an infusion or tincture may be used.

  • Infusion:

Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of water. Steep about 10 to 20 minutes. You may drink up to 3 cups a day. The taste will be astringent and very bitter. Mix with your favorite beverage, add sugar or honey and lemon.

  • Tincture:

Use one half to one teaspoon up to 3 times daily.

USE: (Grow Your Own)

Boneset is very easy to grow and is easy to identify. The leaves are connected and pierced in the middle by the stem. This herb can grow up to 5 feet. It produces a cluster of white to blueish florets. Grows in the mid summer through the fall.

Plant seeds in the spring or the fall. It prefers rich, moist and well drained soil under full sun but can tolerate poorer soil partial shade. Harvest it by cutting the entire plant a few inches above the ground.


Taking in large amounts of bonset can cause nausea, vomiting, liver damage and violent diarrhea. It is not a good idea to take boneset frequently as a tonic. Anyone with a history in alcoholism, liver disease or cancer should not use this herb without consulting a physician. The FDA listed boneset as an herb of undefined safety.