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You might think from its name that its primary medicinal quality is healing broken bones, but it isn’t. Native American Indians used it to fight flu and fevers. When they tried to describe the terrible pain that was felt in the bones and the muscles from the fever of influenza, they called it “break bone fever;” the type of fever that makes you feel like your bones were breaking. So over time the name “break bone fever” was modified to “Boneset.”

If a nasty virus takes hold in your system, no fear, boneset is here. It stimulates the body’s immune response. It speeds up the healing from infections while supporting a rapid recovery from upper respiratory infections such as a lingering coughs. Taken in small doses it often gives relief very quickly. It reduces fever and clears up mucous build-up in the lungs. It gently empties any toxins that may be stored in the colon. It relaxes the joints and eases the terrible pain which often accompanies the flu. It is no doubt powerful stuff and should only be taken in small doses and only when needed. In large amounts, Boneset can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, so don’t over do it. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad.

Best taken in tincture or strong decoction

Traditionally Used for

  • Constipation.

  • Causing vomiting.

  • Fluid retention.

  • Aching muscles.

  • Reducing inflammation.

  • Stimulating the immune system.

  • used to treat influenza

  •  swine flu

  • acute bronchitis

  • nasal inflammation

  • joint pain (rheumatism)

  •  fluid retention

  • dengue fever

  • pneumonia; as a stimulant; and to cause sweating.

  • contains chemicals that work like anti-cancer medications. 

  •  mild activity against bacteria

  • reduce fever

  •  increase urine output

  • cause vomiting 

  • treat constipation

  •  common cold




Because boneset may contain liver-damaging chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids,. Don’t use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.


Boneset may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking boneset.Liver disease: Boneset contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). These chemicals might harm the liver, making existing liver disease worse.


For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.