Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Eupatorium perfoliatum

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Constituents: 4-0-Methyl-glucuronoxylan. Astragalin. Eufoliatin. Eufoliatorin. Eupatorin. Euperfolin. Euperfolitin. Gallic acid. Helenalin. Hyperoside. Kaempferol. Quercitin. Rutin. Tannic acid.


Toxicology: The symptoms shown by those who have partaken of large doses of an infusion of the tops and leaves, show that this drug causes at first an irritation of the vaso - motor system, followed by a relaxed condition of the capillaries, and an increase of the heart's action, again followed by severe congestion and higher temperature. The symptoms are: Faintness, with loss of consciousness, ending in lethargic sleep; pain, soreness, and throbbing in head; soreness of eyeballs, with sharp pains and photophobia; buzzing in the ears; catarrhal influenza; face and red or sallow, and sickly in appearance; tongue white cottony coated; thirst especially preceding the stage of chill; vomiting, especially as the chill passes off; violent colic pains in the upper abdomen; urine dark - colored and scanty, with frequent micturition; oppression of the chest with difficult breathing; stiffness, soreness and deep aching in the limbs, the long bones especially, feel as if pounded or broken; sleepiness, with yawning and stretching, from which the patient awakes with a severe headache; skin bathed in copious sweat. The soreness and deep pains of Eupatorium are most general, and the skin feels numb and as if it would cleave from the bones. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).

An extract of the flowers has been shown to produce a recurrent facial dermatitis of the face and neck.


Pharmacology - Eupatorium perfoliatum is diaphoretic, a febrifuge, aperient, cathartic, emetic, anti-spasmodic and expectorant. It relaxes mucous membranes, acts as a peripheral vaso-dilator, and acts as a cholagogue, promoting bile flow.

Large doses are potentially harmful to the liver due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Both the polysaccharides and the sesquiterpene lactones, in low concentration, are immunostimulatory, enhancing phagocytosis in vitro.



Phytother Res. 2000 Nov;14(7):575-7.

Cytotoxicity and antibacterial activity of ethanol extract from leaves of a herbal drug, boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).

Habtemariam S, Macpherson AM.

School of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, UK.


The cytotoxic and antibacterial activity of an ethanol extract of leaves of a herbal drug, boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), was investigated. The extract showed potent cytotoxicity with EC(50) values (12-14 microg/mL) comparable to a standard cytotoxic agent, chlorambucil. The extract showed a weak antibacterial activity against gram-positive test organisms (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus megaterium). Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.