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If You Needed to “Kill” a Fever, Would You Know What Herb to Take?

If You Needed to “Kill” a Fever, Would You Know What Herb to Take?

[Read time: about 2 minutes]

This little-known herb has been used throughout history as a fever-breaker for some of the world’s most dreaded infections.  

It was widely used in the 1918 flu epidemic for acute fever, and as a preventive.

Historically, it’s been used for all manner of terrible, dreaded fevers – including malaria and influenza.

As well as the dreaded disease that’s so painful, it goes by the nickname, “breakbone fever.” Its real name is dengue fever. In “breakbone fever” the pain is so intense it feels like your entire body has broken bones everywhere.  

While seemingly rare in the U.S., widespread world travel could expose you to some of these fevers, here or abroad. 

You might not be surprised to learn that people have used it for Covid fevers these past couple of years too.  

When you get sick with a bad fever you need to “kill” fast, would you know what herb to take? 

You NEED to know about boneset!

Why you WANT to sweat! 

Breaking a sweat helps break the fever. It is one of your body’s natural responses to infection, to help your immune system activate and fight off foreign invaders.

A fever is a sign your body is working. But sometimes your body can overheat itself too much. This can be damaging, and the fever needs to break quickly.

This crucial moment of breaking through the fever is necessary for you to start feeling better. 

And this little-known herb can help induce this crucial fever-breaking moment in the body. 

It’s known by a couple names but the one most common is Boneset or Thoroughwort.  

What is Boneset? 

Boneset is a Native North American herb that’s been a part of Native American herbal medicine for centuries. Specifically, it’s been used in the treatment of fever and the flu, but also in many other maladies.

Today, its most common use is in Central Europe as an immune system stimulant during fever and flu. 

What does Boneset do?  

Boneset is full of small molecules like flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones that interact with immune system cells and get them going!  

Specifically, boneset induces sweating in the body to help it break the fever and get the body to cool down.  

Sweating is your main mechanism for thermoregulation.

During intense fever, the body heats up to activate certain immune functions, and potentially kill off any foreign invaders.

Boneset can help the body heal by breaking the fever. What’s more, boneset has also been documented to help relieve pains in the limbs and muscular system. 

A little history just for fun!   

Boneset has been around for a long time. Native Americans used the herb to treat influenza, colds, and other infectious diseases.  

In the 18th and 19th centuries the Native Americans taught the early colonists how to use this herb successfully.

Colonists used boneset for various conditions till eventually it became a catch-all treatment. This is one of the reasons it’s so broadly used today. 

In an article written in 1847 in a Med Surge Journal, doctors documented the repeated and successful use of boneset in the treatment of flu and fever.

It was documented that boneset had the most reliable effect with intense fevers from conditions such as influenza.

Where does it grow?    

Boneset is found growing natively on the far eastern edges of North America. It loves meadows and marshes and is usually found teasing the edge of a woody area.  

It has many beautiful small white blossoms with the whole plant being two to four ft tall. They bloom between July and September and are perennials that return every year. 

How can it help me?      

This plant could potentially be another weapon to add to your cold and flu fighting arsenal. Make a tea using boneset’s stem, leaves, and flowers of the plant.  

Some people prefer to use just the boneset leaves to maximize their phytochemical concentration in the tea.  

Boneset cam also be taken as capsules from reliable growers and manufacturers. Here’s one that my podcast guest and herbalist Ed Fletcher recommends: https://www.naturessunshine.com/product/alj-liquid/

Next time you have the need to break a fever, remember boneset.  


Boneset can have some unpleasant side effects if taken in large quantities.

Or when taken by individuals with liver disease… due to molecules it contains called dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids.  

Consult an herbalist or your medical practitioner before using boneset in high doses, or if you have liver disease.

Don’t take boneset longer than two weeks at a time. 

Get your info straight from this leading authority!

Hear more about boneset from our podcast guest, Master Herbalist Ed Fletcher right now.

Fletcher brings a wealth of wisdom about all herbs. And boneset could be one that could save your life.  









If You Needed to “Kill” a Fever, Would You Know What Herb to Take?

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