Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Eupatorium perfoliatum

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Eupatorium perfoliatum Linn. 


Eupatorium, from the surname Eupator of King Mithridates (d. 63 B. C.), who was so named because he happened to have a noble father. Perfoliatum, or distinguished by the perfoliate character of its leaves (where the stem seems to pass through the leaf), each pair of which are at right angles to those immediately above or below.)



Traditional name

Boneset - Ague Weed.

Thorough-wort, Bones Thoroughwort.

German: Wasserdost


Used parts

Tincture of the whole plant.


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Asteridae / Synandrae; Asterales; Compositae / Asteraceae - Composites / Daisy or Sunflower Family




Original proving

I. Provings. -

I. WILLIAMSON. Allen's Encyclop, Mat. Mat. Med. Vol. IV, 234.

Description of the substance

Habitat: Boneset is a common plant, indigenous to North America, where it ranges from New Brunwick to Dakota in the North, to Florida and Louisiana in the South. It grows in marshy places on the borders of takes, pounds, and streams, where it blossoms from July to September. As well as being indigenous to North America, it is also now found in France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and China.


Boneset was a favourite medicine of the North American Indians, who called it by a name that is equivalent to 'Ague-weed,' and it has always been a popular remedy in the United States, probably no plant in American domestic practice having more extensive and frequent use; it is also in use to some extent in regular practice, being official in the United States Pharmacopceia, though it is not included in the British Pharmacopoeia.



All parts of the plant are active, but the herb only is official, the leaves and tops being gathered after flowering has commenced. They contain a volatile oil, some tannic acid, and Eupatorin, a bitter glucosidal principle, also resin, gum and sugar. The virtues of the plant are yielded both to water and alcohol.



Boneset is a perennial herb, with an erect stout, cylindrical hairy stem, 2 to 4 feet high, branched at the top. The leaves are large, opposite, united at the base, lance-shaped, 4 to 8 inches long (the lower ones being the largest), tapering to a sharp point, the edges finely toothed, the veins prominent, the blades rough above, downy and resinous and dotted beneath. The leaves serve to distinguish the species at the first glance - they may be considered either as perforated by the stem, perfoliate (hence the specific name), or as consisting of two opposite leaves joined at the base, the botanical term for which is connate. The flower-heads are terminal and numerous, large and slightly convex, with from ten to twenty white florets, having a bristly pappus, the hairs of which are arranged in a single row. The odour of the plant is slightly aromatic, the taste astringent and strongly bitter. This species shows considerable variety in size, hairiness, form of leaves and inflorescence. It flowers from July to September.



Erect, usually branched, white-hairy, up to 5 feet tall.



Opposite, simple, lanceolate, pointed at the tip, strongly connate at the base, toothed, white-hairy, up to 6 inches long, up to 2 inches broad.



Several crowded into small white heads, with many heads forming a much branched inflorescence, each head 1/6-1/4 inch across and subtended by several narrow, green, hairy bracts, all flowers tubular.


Sepals: 0.

Petals: 5, united to form a tube, white.

Stamens: 5.

Pistils: Ovary inferior.

Fruits: Achenes 1/10 inch long, with a tuft of white bristles.

Notes: The achenes of this species are eaten by waterfowl.