Gravel root, Joe Pye Weed — Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium_purpureum_plant 2Family: Asteraceae

Part used: root, aerial parts.

Herbal action: diuretic, tonic, mild astringent, antilithic, antirheumatic, diaphoretic, nervine, aperient.

Indications: urinary catarrh, urinary calculi, hematuria, dysuria, cystitis, prostatitis, kidney and lower back pain, rheumatism, gout.

Contraindications and cautions: Should not be used in the very young or in pregnancy in case PAs might accumulate.

Medicinal uses: Gravel root’s primary use is to balance liquids and solids, just like its growing habitat. It keeps mineral from precipitating out of solution, thus it can be used for kidney stones and arthritis. This quality can also be seen in its ability to control water, blood and pus. Gravel root has a slow-acting but persistent effect upon the kidneys and bladder, relaxing the musculature and promoting diuresis. For its most prominent indication, Gravel root is used when the urine is reddish to reddish-brown in color, and when there is a deposit of reddish sand in the urine.

Gravel root is indicated in difficult and painful urination generally, with shooting pains in the perineum, lower back pain, frequency and a sense of obstruction. In prostatitis, Gravel root is used to prevent the more acute forms and to treat chronic conditions. In childhood incontinence with great irritation and distress.

Gravel root is a diffusive stimulant with mildly astringing properties, making it suitable for states of irritation and inflammation, useful in most atonic conditions except in severe depression. It also comes highly recommended for chronic edema, to restore tone to the kidneys and as a preventative, after cathartics are used to expel the excess fluid. As a uterine tonic, Gravel root is used in uterine prolapse and retroversion (uterus tilted backwards), and is used internally and as an injection or sitz bath in amenorrhea and leucorrhea. In pregnancy Gravel root is said to control chronic irritability and prevent miscarriage. For dyspeptic conditions, Gravel root is a reasonably good tonic, gently drawing together the mucosa and checking excess catarrh. Gravel root has also shown promise as a respiratory remedy, correcting the pulmonary circulation in chronic cough, asthma, chronic catarrh, and whooping cough.