Gravel Root

Botanical Name: Eupatorium purpureum Family: Compositae

Common name(s): Joe-Pye Weed, Trumpet Weed, Purple Boneset, Queen of the meadow, Kidney root


  • Perennial | Zones 3-8 | 5-6 feet tall | Purple to white flowers August and September
  • Distinguishable by the ~1-inch purple band around the leaf joint.
  • Found in low places and meadows, often where it is damp


Harvest the root in the fall.


Decoction: Put 1 teaspoon in 1 cup water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: 10-30 drops, 3x/day.


Constituents: Volatile oil, euparin (a flavonoid), resin

Actions: Antirheumatic, antilithic, carminative, diuretic

Uses: Kidney stones, most urinary tract issues including incontinence and rheumatism


  • Bitter, pungent, neutral


I looked up gravel root only to find out it is Joe-Pye Weed, which is how I know it. I did find out how it got that name while writing up this materia medica. It was named after a New England medicine man who used it to cure typhus. Interesting discoveries while doing my herbal studies. I just LOVE this stuff! 

I have Joe-Pye Weed in my orchard – although I believe it is Eastern Joe-Pye Weed (E. dubium). And as you can see from this picture (not mine), the butterflies love it!