Rediscovering Boneset for Influenza – East West School of Planetary Herbology

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With the world’s concern regarding the current coronavirus (COVID-19) influenza outbreak, I’m surprised how little mention there is of boneset, once considered the number one remedy for influenza and deemed a ‘miracle life-saving herb’ during the 1918-19 Spanish influenza responsible for the deaths of 675,000 Americans and ranging from 21 million to 100 million worldwide.

Other than the general disdain for herbal medicine still prevalent in most of the Western world, I can think of but two reasons that boneset has fallen unjustly into neglect: first, it has in recent years been found to contain a varyingly small number of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (Pas) and second, it is nauseatingly bitter.

No one has proven that boneset is, indeed, toxic. It was used for centuries by Indigenous people and European settlers, included as a treatment for fever in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia…

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