Eupatorium perfoliatum Open-pollinated. Perennial to Zone 3. This native wildflower is easy to distinguish when not in flower by the stem than appears to grow through fused leaves, hence another common name, Thoroughwort. Tiny white flowers in fuzzy clusters top the 4' plants in late summer. The name comes from its historical use to soothe “bonebreak fever.” More recent German research indicates it may act as an immune stimulant. The bitter tea of aerial parts in bud or bloom can be used in moderation as a tonic or for colds, coughs and flus; in excess it is emetic and laxative. In addition it is an especially important food source for native bees. Prefers sun and moist rich soil. Especially attractive to pollinators.①
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.