Sunday, 14 September 2008

Boneset - America's Favourite

Boneset, also known as Thoroughwort, is used by the North American Indians, who called it Ague-weed and remains a popular remedy in the USA.

The leaves and tops being gathered after flowering has commenced. Boneset is a perennial herb cylindrical hairy stem that grows 2 to 4 feet high and branches out at the top. The leaves are big and grouped at the base. The edges of the lance shaped leaves are finely toothed, which make it easily recognised.

The flowering parts which come out from July to September are numerous, large ranging from ten to twenty. Their design is in the form of white florets with bristly hairs. The scent of the plant is slightly aromatic, but the taste very bitter.

Boneset is a stimulant and laxative that acts slowly and consistently therefore has good use for stomach, liver, bowels and uterus complaints. It is used as a mild tonic for attacks of muscular rheumatism and general colds. Also, it is especially affective in treating intermittent fever, and has been used in connection with typhoid and yellow fevers. Negroes largely use it extensively in the Southern United States as a remedy in all cases of fever, as well as for its tonic effects. As a mild tonic it is useful for the indigestion of old people.

Boneset has its use treating catarrh and influenza given in doses of a warm traditionally served in a wine glass every 30 minutes. After two to three hours lot of sweating takes place and relief is affected. The recipe for this is 1 oz of the dried herb to every 1 pint of boiling water.

Finally, the health benefits extend to boneset being a good remedy for aiding the expulsion of tapeworm.

It has a magical reputation for preventing and curing unnatural illness. Many believe that carrying boneset leaves in a small bag mixed with Angelica Root and Devil's Shoe Strings to ward's off Bad Luck. Boneset used for ritual cleansing to fight off occult poisons by rubbing the dry leaves over their bodies and afterwards burning them with unblessed incense.

Some folk make tea from boneset and use it as bath water to get rid of enemy trickery and spell designed to give them bad health. Sweeping floors with boneset in a sickroom and then sweeping it out the front door is another widely believed tradition that aids health.

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