This herb’s name sounds like it would be used for broken bones, but it is actually thought to be derived from its use for “break-bone fever”- a fever so bad that the bones and joints ache with intense pain.
The First Nations of America introduced this herb to the early settlers, recommending it to break fevers by causing heavy sweat. The Eclectic physicians used Boneset as a cornerstone herb in their successful treatment of the influenza epidemic of 1918.
Boneset both reduces fever and treats the other miseries that go along with the flu: aching joints and muscles, chest congestion, violent coughing, and the soreness that comes from it.
Some research has also suggested that boneset may be directly antiviral and immune-boosting, but it is usually used in conjunction with stronger herbal anti-virals such as Elder to get at the cause of the illness.