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Thoroughwort, Boneset, and Joe Pye Weed September 6, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Edible Plants, History, Louisa County, Wild Flowers.
Tags: , , ,

The flower in the picture above is Tall Thoroughwart. I found it growing in the wetlands north of town. It’s a member of the same genus as its more famous cousins, Boneset and Joe Pye Weed. Boneset has very similar flowers but a very different leaf structure. The next picture, taken in Lake McBride State Park, shows how Boneset’s stem seems to poke through the leaves. Compare them to the leaves above and you’ll see the difference.

Both Boneset and Joe Pye Weed were well-known to Native American medicine men and country doctors. Tea made from the dried leaves and flowers of these plants was used for treating fevers, constipation, and skin diseases.

Boneset got its name for providing relief from Bone-break fever. Most sources identify that as a severe influenza, though today the name is used for Dengue fever.

Joe Pye weed got its name from Joe Pye, a Native American, who used it to treat an outbreak of typhoid fever.

In heavier doses the plants are reported to make effective colon cleansers. (Do you suppose the name “Thoroughwort” has anything to do with that?)

I don’t recommend any of these herbs to treat diseases, especially the flu. First of all, the taste is pretty nasty.

“The worse it tastes, the better it works!”–Great-grandma Warbler.

More seriously, prevention is far better than great-grandma’s ready remedy when it comes to influenza. Flu shots are already out this year. See your doctor or stop by the Louisa County Public Health Office any Thursday afternoon.



1. JC - May 16, 2011

ok..so obviously you do not trust plants, but you trust often times dangerous shots! Why the sam hill did you tell of the plants properties & well known healing it brings to warn people to instead take an unknown option? Bad reporting…either be for it..or against it…btw..I use Joe Pye weed from my yard to keep mucus from chocking me during the year whenever…I also have Thoroughwort a plenty & plan to tincture it for future need, as the Indian’s used to do. Do your homework folks & stay away from those dangerous flu shots!

Wapello Warbler - June 2, 2011

I haven’t had influenza since since Ronald Reagan’s first term. An ounce of prevention…

2. Dan - May 2, 2013

I believe everything posted was actually very logical.
But, what about this? suppose you added a little information?

I ain’t saying your information isn’t solid, but suppose you added a headline that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Thoroughwort, Boneset, and Joe Pye Weed | Wapello Warbler’s Louisa County is kinda plain.

You should peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they create post headlines to get people interested. You might try adding a video or a picture or two to get readers interested about what you’ve
got to say. Just my opinion, it might bring your website a little livelier.

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