This herb is well known in the country, and is made use of by the people in tea for many complaints. It is of a warming nature, and is good for cough and other complaints of the lungs.
Eupatorium Perfoliatum, or Boneset, as known to the country people, has long been a household remedy, sometimes it is known as Thoroughwort. (Dr. Thomson describes it under this name only.) As a tonic it is used either in syrup form or as a cold infusion, and is useful in obstructions of the liver and in promoting the secretion of bile in cases of jaundice and malarial disorders characterized by constipation.
In warm infusion Boneset is a pronounced relaxant and will soften the skin by inducing perspiration; and if given too freely will excite vomiting. An infusion is made by steeping an ounce of the herb in a pint of boiling water. It is extremely bitter to the taste, and to children it is often highly objectionable. (Dr. Greer.)
The above is all that is found in the work by Dr. Samuel Thomson, the founder of the Physio-Medical system of practice. I call special attention to this fact for the simple reason that it is now one of our best remedies and one the Physio-Medicalist of Herbalist cannot well do without. Dr. Thomson used it in practically all cases, but late investigation and practical experience has taught us that, while Dr. Thomson used it extensively, he knew but very little of the use it could be put to and therefore a more extensive description of this herb will be given. This has been done in most cases without calling any special attention to the fact, but it is considered important to call attention to this fact here.
This herb in bloom is positively relaxing to the mucous membrane throughout, slightly stimulating, toning and antispasmodic. It is best when it first blooms. It is slow in its action but almost certain to relieve the liver. It is a favorite remedy for the prevention of fever. In large doses it is gently cathartic and greatly tones the bowels throughout.
Night sweats yield to this remedy better than anything else in cases of phthisis. The relaxing properties are to some extent dissipated by the heat and the stimulancy, anti-spasmodic and tonic properties are left. Night sweats relieved by this remedy hardly ever return again. It is of good use in all fevers and in chronic ague it has absolutely no equal.
Because of its promoting the secretion of bile by the liver, also its excretion by the gall cyst, it is invaluable in many liver complaints, especially in general biliousness.
The tincture may be added to cough syrups when a more free expectoration is desired. In colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia, especially if the patient be inclined to biliousness and constipation, a large injection may be given to free the lower bowels. With this, hot infusion is to be given internally until the bowels move freely. Relaxation of the mucous membrane generally will follow with good results. After this, smaller doses may be given and the mucous membrane will become toned by it. Boneset is also valuable in the treatment of rheumatism, especially of the gouty and bilious classes. In the first, it cleanses and tones the gastric membrane and in the second, it relieves the liver and gall-cyst. Dose of the tincture is from 20 to 60 minims.