- Created: 20 August 2014
Herb Name - Gravelroot
Other names—Joe-pye Weed, Jopi Weed, Kidney Root, Purple Boneset, Queen of the meadow, trumpet weed.
Botanical Name - Eupatorium purpureum /Eutrochium
Family - Asteraceae
Roots and rhizomes gathered in late summer or early autumn.
Gravel Root has traditionally been used for kidney related trouble, such as kidney stones, urinary infections, constipation, washing wounds to prevent infections and typhus. It was used to treat typhus and other ailments by the Native Americans and early settlers and is still considered a safe and effective diuretic. The fresh leaves are used by the Potawatomi Tribe, a tribe native to the upper Mississippi region, to make a poultice for healing and for burns. The root was also called “Maskwano kuk”and it was used as a medicine to clean up after childbirth. It has been listed in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1842.
Perennial up to three metres tall with green stems, that are tinged purple at leaf nodes. Leaves in whorls of 3-4; petiole glabrous to sparsely hairy, 15-35mm long; lamina glabrous above but hairy beneath especially on veins; ovate-lanceolate, acute-acuminate, serrate. 80-120 x 20-60mm, upper leaves smaller. Flowers numerous in slightly convex terminal corymbs. Florets pink to purple. Flowers February – March.
Grown from seed and sometimes root division – crowns with a bud may be separated and reset during winter dormancy. Prefers a damp, semi-shady situation and deep soil. Drought tender, frost resistant.
Resin; tannins, euparin and Eupatorin. volatile oil up to 0.07%; a yellow flavonoid, euparin; an oleoresin, eupurpurin, is produced by pouring the tincture into cold water – it has the same action as that of the whole root
Specifically of use in the treatment of renal or urinary calculi (stones), caused by excess uric acid. It is specifically useful in calcium stones. It works to increase the volume of urine as well as soothing the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. The tea is best drunk as a preventative. This elimination process makes it useful in prostrate problems, gout and rheumatism.
It is a well known tonic for the genitor-urinary region. Conditions such as kidney stones, cystitis, urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, reproductive toning, prostrate inflammation, menstrual cramps, childbirth, gout, rheumatism, fluid retention, urinary incontinence and impotence. What a versatile herb.
The recent awareness as to its anti-inflammatory action has shown to have benefits where integrin adhesion molecules play a role in the inflammatory response.
The antibacterial affects of Gravelroot showed the alcohol extract to have a weak antibacterial activity against gram-positive organisms.
The herb has also been used as an antidote from poisoning after arrow shot and the Chippewa tribes used it to counteract the bad effects of a miscarriage. The fruit yields a pink or red textile dye.
An infusion of the dried root will also help to improve blood circulation.
The decoction of dried root 2 - 4g TDS
Tincture 1:5 (40%) 1 - 2 ml TDS
Fluid extract (25%) 2 – 4 mls TDS
Combines will with Parsley Piert, Pellitory of the Wall or hydrangea for kidney stones.
Gravel Root should not be used in conjunction with prescription medications, and it should not be taken by persons with a current or past liver disease. Best not used during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding.
Butterflies and bees love this herb.