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Joe Pye Weed herb picture Gravel Root

Joe Pye Weed , Gravel Root

Eupatorium purpureum

Other Names: Queen of the Meadow, Gravel root, Kidney root,Purple boneset

 Photo by Karen Bergeron

Description by Deb Jackson

Habitat    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.Cultivate from seed or root separation, with partial shade to full sun inrich alkaline soil. Growing to a height of about 12 ft. it 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. Gather leaves anytime and entire plant in full bloom. Dig roots after frost.Properties    The entire plant is used as an alternative medicine with the roots being the strongest part. Crushed leaves have an apple scent and are dried then burned to repel flies. Infuse dried root and flowers for a diuretic teato relieve kidney and urinary problems. Tea is used to induce sweating and break a high fever. Also useful for rheumatism, gravel (gallstones), and dropsy (fluid retention).Folklore   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.Recipes

Root tea: To 1 pint boiling water add 1 oz. dried rootstock  steep for 30min. take in ? 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.

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Karen Bergeron- Editor- picture

Karen Bergeron - Editor