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Joe Pye Weed , Gravel Root

Eupatorium purpureum

Joe Pye Weed herb picture Gravel Root

Joe Pye Weed is also known by these names : Queen of the Meadow, Gravel root, Kidney root , Purple boneset

Joe Pye Weed Herb Use and Medicinal Properties   

Joe Pye Weed herb is used as an alternative medicine with the roots being the strongest part. The crushed leaves have an apple scent and are dried then burned to repel flies. Infuse dried Joe Pye Weed root and flowers for a diuretic tea to relieve kidney and urinary problems. Tea is used to induce sweating and break a high fever. Joe Pye Weed infusion is also useful for rheumatism, gravel (gallstones), and dropsy (fluid retention).

Joe Pye Weed Habitat and Description

Joe Pye Weed is a North American native perennial herb found in moist woods and meadows from southern Canada to Florida and west to Texas. Growing to a height of about 12 feet, Joe Pye Weed makes a handsome addition to any garden or as a privacy border. The sturdy, hollow, purple stems are covered with whorls of 4 to 8 dark green, lance shaped, and serrated  leaves, up to 1 foot long. Atop each stem is a rose pink to whitish domed cluster of flowers, about 1 foot in diameter, blooming in August and September. The root is woody, thick and purplish brown with cream colored flesh.

How to Grow, Harvest and Use Joe Pye Weed

Cultivate from seed or root separation, with partial shade to full sun in rich alkaline soil. Gather leaves anytime and entire plant in full bloom. Dig roots after frost and store in cool dry and dark place to dry for future use.

Joe Pye Weed Recipes

Joe Pye Weed Root tea: To 1 pint boiling water add 1 oz. dried rootstock and steep for 30min. take in half cup doses 4 or 5 times a day. Flower tea: To 1 cup boiling water add 1 tsp. dried flowers steep for 10min. drink 1 to 3 cups a day.

Joe Pye Weed Folklore and History

The plant is named after an American Indian named Joe Pye, who was said to have cured typhus with it. Some Native American tribes still consider Joe Pye Weed to be an aphrodisiac. It is said that carrying leaves of Joe Pye Weed will make one more popular.

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Copyright 1998 -2015, Alternative Nature Enterprises, Karen Bergeron and Deb Jackson. All Rights Reserved.

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