The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

Joe-Pye Weed

Scientific Names

Joe-Pye Weed

  • Eupatorium purpureum L.
  • Compositae
  • Composite family

Common Names

  • Gravel root
  • Kidney root
  • Lan-ts’ao (Chinese name)
  • Queen of the meadow
  • Thoroughwort
  • Trumpet weed
  • Purple boneset

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Parts Usually Used

Root, floral decoctions are diuretic and tonic
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Gravel root is distinguishable by the purple band about 1 inch broad around the leaf point. The perennial plant reaches 5-6 feet, with pail purple to white tubular flowers, in a somewhat rounded cluster, blooms in August and September. The leaves, from 3-5 at the joint, are broad, rough and jagged. The root is the official part, with a fragrance resembling that of old hay, and slightly bitter, aromatic taste which is faintly astringent but not unpleasant.
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Where Found

Found in low places, dry woods or meadows in northern, western and middle regions of North America and in Canada.
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Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, stimulant, tonic, astringent, relaxant
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Biochemical Information

Euparin, which is yellow, neutral and crystalline; eupurpurin is an oleoresin that is precipitated from an alcoholic tincture of the herb.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The name “Queen of the meadow” is shared with a European species (Spiraea ulmaria).

Spotted Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum L.) is used similarly but the Native Americans used the root to induce sweating in typhus fever. Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum L.) is not the same as Joe-Pye weed, although they share the name boneset in some locations.

The Joe-Pye weed was named after a Native American doctor named Joe Pye who used it medicinally. The medicine man taught early settlers how to use it.
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A good remedy for gravel in the gallbladder, dissolves stones, chronic urinary and kidney disorders, bed wetting, poor appetite, dropsy, neuralgia, rheumatism. Very soothing and will relax the nerves. Increases the flow of urine. Combined with uva ursi, marshmallow, blue cohosh, and lily root, good for female troubles, bladder and kidney infections, diabetes, and Bright’s disease.

Also used for headache, hysteria, impotence, indigestion, intermittent fever, sciatica, sore throat, urine retention, vomiting, asthma, chronic coughs, colds, typhus fever
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion or decoction: take 1 cup every 2 hours for excess uric acid.

Tincture: take 5-15 drops in a cup of water.

Cough syrup: made of the blossoms and leaves, steeped and boiled down, molasses added; then boiled to a syrup.
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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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