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erbal Medicine Materia Medica

Gravel Root

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Eupatorium purpureum


Names: Gravelweed, Joe-Pye Weed, Queen of the Meadow.

Do not confuse with Boneset: Eupatorium perfoliatum

Habitat: USA

Collection: The root and rhizome should be dug up in the autumn after the plant has stopped flowering. Wash thoroughly, slice and dry.

Part Used: Rhizome and root.


  • Volatile oil, of unknown composition
  • Flavonoids, including euparin
  • Resin
Actions: Diuretic, anti-lithic, anti-rheumatic.

Indications: Gravel Root is used primarily for kidney stones or gravel. In urinary infections such as cystitis and urethritis it may be used with benefit, whilst it can also play a useful role in a systemic treatment of rheumatism and gout. Ellingwood considered it to have the following symptomatology: "Irritation of the bladder in women from displacement and chronic inflammation of the uterus; and suppression of urine, partial or complete, during or after pregnancy." He recommends in following conditions: dropsy, strangury, gravel, haematuria, disease of the kidney and bladder from an excess of uric acid, chronic endometriosis, leucorrhoea, chronic uterine disease, threatened abortion, ovarian and uterine atony, dysmenorrhoea, dysuria, constant desire to urinate, intermittent fever, severe bone pains.

Combinations: For kidney stones or gravel it combines well with Stone Root, Parsley Piert, Pellitory of the Wall or Hydrangea.

Preparations & Dosage: Decoction: put l teaspoonful of the herb in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for l0 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take l-2 ml of the tincture three times aday.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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