This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. Thoroughwort.
MEDICINAL PARTS. The tops and leaves.
Description. -- Boneset is an indigenous perennial herb, with a horizontal crooked root, the stems being round, stout, rough and hairy, from one to five feet high, and the leaves veiny, serrate, rough, and tapering to a long point. The flowers are white and very numerous.
History. -- Boneset grows in low grounds, on the borders of swamps and streams, throughout the United States, flowering in August and September. Alcohol or boiling water extracts the virtues of the parts used. It has a feeble odor, but a very bitter taste. It contains tannin and the extractive salts of potassa. It is called Boneset on account that it was formerly supposed to cause rapid union of broken bones.
Properties and Uses. -- It is a very valuable medicinal agent. The cold infusion or extract is tonic and aperient, the warm infusion diaphoretic and emetic. As a tonic it is very useful in remittent, intermittent, and typhoid fevers, dyspepsia, and general debility. In intermittent fever a strong infusion, as hot as can be comfortably swallowed, is administered for the purpose of vomiting freely. This is also attended with profuse diaphoresis, and sooner or later, by an evacuation of the bowels. During the intermission the cold infusion or extract is given every hour as a tonic and antiperiodic. In epidemic influenza the warm infusion is valuable as an emetic and diaphoretic, likewise in febrile diseases, catarrh, colds, and wherever such effects are indicated. The warm infusion is also administered to promote the operation of other emetics. Externally, used alone or in combination with hops or tansy, etc., a fomentation of the leaves applied to the bowels is very useful in inflammation, spasms, and painful affections.
Boneset is one of the ingredients of my "Restorative Assimilant," and is certainly an excellent adjuvant to the Blue Vervain. (See page 469.)
Dose. -- Of the powder, from ten to twenty grains; of the extract, from two to four grains; of the infusion, from two to four wineglassfuls.