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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Boneset
treats Colds/flu

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DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), any of its constituents, or related members of the Asteraceae/ Compositae family such as dandelion, goldenrod, ragweed, sunflower, and daisies.

Side Effects and Warnings

There are currently no high quality studies on the medicinal applications of boneset, and the following information is based on traditional use and expert opinion. Boneset may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in large doses, and may even cause coma or death. Boneset may also contain hepatotoxic (liver damaging) unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Products containing boneset have been placed in the "Herbs of Undefined Safety" category by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Use cautiously as boneset is known to cause both vomiting and diarrhea, which may increase the chance of dehydration in small children, elderly individuals, or individuals suffering from a chronic condition.

Use cautiously in patients sensitive to boneset or Asteracae/ Compositae plants, such as dandelion, goldenrod, ragweed, sunflower, and daisies, as boneset may cause contact dermatitis.

Use cautiously even in the amounts recommended by manufacturers, as boneset may promote sweating, the production of urine, and catharsis. All of these effects could cause excessive fluid loss from the body, possibly also decreasing the body's potassium supplies. Low potassium levels can result in muscle weakness and potentially dangerous changes in heart rhythm.

Avoid in patients with known liver or kidney conditions and patients who ingest moderate to large amounts of alcohol as boneset may contain hepatotoxic (liver damaging) pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Although not well studied in humans, boneset may be toxic and long term use by pregnant or breastfeeding women should be avoided. Fresh boneset contains tremerol, a toxic chemical, which can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, muscle tremors, and increased respiration. Higher doses can cause coma and death. Dried boneset is not thought to contain tremerol.

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