Eupatorium purpureum


Walcott, M. (n.d.). Watercolor painting of Eupatorium_purpureum. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. Retrieved from:

Botanical Name: Eupatorium purpureum
Common name: Gravel root, joe-pye (Natural Standard, 2014)
Family: Asteraceae (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)
Parts used: Rhizome and root (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)

Constituents: Tannins; Bitter principle; Flavonoids: incl. euparin; Resin; Volatile oil; and Sesquiterpene lactones (Natural Standard, 2014)



  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)
  • Anti-rheumatic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)
  • Diaphoretic (Natural Standard, 2014)


Folklore: The genus Eupatorium is comprised of over 40 spieces, many of which have medicinal use. Accoring to folklore, the name Eupatorium is derived from King Mithridates Eupator, among the first to use the herb medicinally. The common name “Gravel Root” refers to the herbs administration in kidney stones (gravel). Other common names include “joe-pye” which, according to folklore, is in honor of an American Indian who cures typhus with the plants root (Natural Standard, 2014).



Traditionally used for conditions of the genitourinary system, Eupatorium purpureum lacks substantiation in standard medical literature. Traditional indications include:

  • Kidney stones
  • Cystitis
  • Urethritis
  • Rheumatism and gout

(Natural Standard, 2014; Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)


Preparation & Dosage:

  • Decoction: 1 tsp/1 cup water (boil, then simmer for 10 mins)/tds
  • Tincture: 1-2mL/tds

(Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)


Cautions & Contradictions:

  • Due to diaphoretic action, may cause dehydration
  • Contraindicated in individuals with known allergy to members of Asteraceae family.

(Natural Standard, 2014)


Combinations: For gravel or kidney stones combine with Parsley Piert, Pellitory of the wall or Hydrangea (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 204)

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