The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® (AHP), a California-based nonprofit research organization, is pleased to announce the release of a Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium for Boneset Aerial Parts (Eupatorium perfoliatum). The monograph was a joint collaboration of AHP and researchers at Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat, Munster, Germany; was reviewed by a multidisciplinary cadre of experts representing traditional herbal medicine, botany, chemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmacology, and boneset cultivation; and included original in-depth investigation characterizing the chemical profile of the plant, leading to the confirmation of the presence of the potentially toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) lycopsamine and intermedine.
According to AHP President Roy Upton, “This was a difficult monograph to do as there is currently a zero tolerance for these types of PAs in herbal products, while the European Union and United Kingdom have developed limits for their presence in herbal products. Interestingly, they have not developed limits for the presence of PAs in commercial foods, with honey being the most common source of exposure, and in which the concentration of PAs is considerably higher and more frequently consumed than boneset. Still, prudence dictates that an appropriate benefit-risk assessment be done if boneset is to be used.”
Boneset was considered one of the most effective botanicals to be used during times of epidemics of both flu and dengue fever. It was formally used in hospitals as a therapeutic agent in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Physicians of the era report on its efficacy when other medications did not work. Considering super bugs and flu pandemics today, boneset is not a botanical that is easily dismissed. Additionally, the amount of PAs in boneset is very low, as noted lower than many honeys, and boneset is often only used for short periods of time. While some consider low level PAs to be contributors to liver disorders, other evidence suggests the body has evolved to deal with low level background concentrations of PAs, as occurs through glutathione pathways. Ideally, formal dose-relationship studies both in terms of efficacy and toxicity can be conducted. Again, according to AHP President Roy Upton, “Because of the high degree of efficacy that former physicians reported regarding boneset, it is not an herb that should be lost from the materia medica. Perhaps it should no longer be used in common herbal bitters formulas which are consumed more freely and frequently, but if I had a flu, I would not count out boneset.” All of these issues are presented in detail in the AHP Boneset Aerial Parts Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium.
AHP Boneset Aerial Parts Monograph was made possible by the generous contributions of:
AHP Members at the Sustaining Benefactor, Benefactor, Platinum and Gold Levels:
Planetary Herbals Sustaining, Benefactor Member
EuroPharma USA, Benefactor Member
NOW Foods, Platinum Member
Nature’s Way Brand, Gold Member
Traditional Medicinals, Gold member
Steven Colegate, Dale Gardner and Kip Panter of the US Department of Agriculture Poisonous Plant Research Laboratrory, and Joseph Betz of ODS, for their outstanding analytical work.
By numerous individuals, companies, and organizations who graciously assisted us in gathering the authentic samples needed for the development of this monograph:
Naomi Crews, Appalachian Herbs Growers Consortium
Christine Borosh, Bastyr University
Lisa Korpela, Bella Botanical
Todd Elliott, Biologist, Naturalist
Daniel Vickers, Botanics Trading Co.
Robert Beyfuss, Botanist, Agriculturist
Patricia Howell, Botano Logos School of Herbal Studies
Jeanine Davis & Eric Burkhart, Carolina State University
Catherine Smith, Chicory Lane Farm
Trisha McCauley, Common Goods City Farm
David Brandenburg, Dawes Arboretum
Arthur Haines, Delta Institute of Natural History
Jennifer Creany, EarthWorks
Thomas Easley, Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine
Jane Stevens, Four Elements Herbals
David Bunting, Herb Pharm
Doug Elliot, Herbalist, Naturalist
Michael Tims & Andrea Miller, Maryland University of Integrated Medicine
Edward Fletcher, Native Botanicals Inc.
Michael Balick, New York Botanical Garden
7Song, NorthEast School of Botanical Medicine
Dori Moran, Pacific Botanicals
Bill Harms, Patuxent Research Refuge
Tony Hayes, Ridge Runner Trading
Darren Huckle, Roots of Wellness
Helen Metzman, The Green Pharmacy Garden
Guido Mase, Urban Moonshine
Mitch Coven, Vitality Works
The AHP Boneset Aerial Parts Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium (PDF) is available by ordering from the AHP website at https://herbal-ahp.org/online-ordering-boneset-aerial-parts/
For those wishing to buy copies in bulk for dissemination to customers or health practitioners, please contact us directly.
ABOUT AMERICAN HERBAL PHARMACOPOEIA
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® (AHP) promotes the responsible use of herbal medicines and ensures they are used with the highest possible degree of efficacy and safety. Our primary way to accomplish this is through the development of standards of identity, purity, and analysis for botanicals, as well as to critically review traditional and scientific data regarding their efficacy and safety. These works will be disseminated through a variety of AHP publications such as monographs, textbooks, and other educational materials; workshops and conferences; electronic media, and other avenues of distribution as are appropriate.
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