Common Boneset was a favorite medicinal plant of the American Indians, although not for setting bones. It was used for aches and fevers. The name “Boneset” was derived from the use of the plant for a severe type of flu called “Break Bone Fever”. The bones don’t break because of this flu, but they feel like it.
The species name, perfoliatum, means “through the foliage” in Latin. Quite a number of plants have this species name because it describe a unique feature where pairs of leaves are joined together around the stem giving the impression that the stem is going through the leaf.