Joe pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), or the gravel root is a herbaceous perennial plant of the Asteraceae family of sunflowers.
They call the eastern and central Northern America home, ranging from the Canadian province of Ontario east towards the American state of New Hampshire, stretching as far south as Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
However, it has since been introduced for cultivation in other regions with similar climate and biome, such as in New Zealand. In addition, being a common plant found in street sides of the regions above, the Joe Pye weed could make as a beautiful addition to the garden.
At this article, we will learn more about the Joe Pye weed and also the health benefits of Joe Pye weed.
An Introduction to Joe Pye Weed
The Joe Pye weed is named after an Indian healer who came from the New England region of United States of America, Joe Pye. He was among the first to use this particular herb to treat a variety of ailments and health conditions, which led to the naming of this plant after him. Folklore has it that this herb was used to treat fevers, while others claim that colonists used this to treat typhoid outbreaks.
Like what it is mentioned above, the Joe Pye weed is also suitable for garden plants, especially in rain gardens, side of ponds or streams. However, one should take note that a wide space is needed owing to the full-grown size of the plant. It can grow up to 3 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide.
There are 6 different varieties of Joe Pye weed;
- Eastern Joe Pye Weed – Grows in between 2 to 5 feet high, with narrow leaves at the base that gradually widens at the centre. The stem has purple spots, with dusty pink flowers.
- Spotted Joe Pye Weed – They grow from 2 to 6 feet tall, with thick purple or speckled stems just like its name. Their sharp leaves grow in groups of 4 to 5, and the flowers are coloured anywhere from pale lavender to deep purple. Spotted Joe Pye weed could be found in moist soils that have high lime content inside.
- Sweet-Scented Joe Pye Weed – Nicknamed “Queen of the Meadow” or the “Gravel Root”, the Sweet-Scented Joe Pye weed has green stems with sharp purple leaf nodes that grow in groups of three to four. The flowers are coloured in between pale pink to purple, and releases a scent similar to vanilla.
- Hollow-Stemmed Joe Pye Weed – Just like its name, the Hollow Stemmed Joe Pye Weed is hollow on the inside with purple accents. The leaves come in groups of four to seven with flowers that attractively resemble berries. They grow in Northeast America’s bottomlands and moist woods.
- Three-Nerved Joe Pye Weed – They have large veiny leaves that originates in the base of the centre vein. The leaves are also thick, bumpy, oval and come in groups of three or four. The leaves are deep purple while the stems possess purple speckles.
- Steele’s Joe Pye Weed – Looking almost similar to Sweet-Scented Joe Pye weed, however with hairy leaves and stems. Native to the Appalachian Mountains, Steele’s Joe Pye weed has pink, purple or mauve coloured flowers.
Medicinal Uses of Joe Pye Weed
Apart from being used for botanical purposes, Joe Pye weed is also used medicinally. The root of the Joe Pye weed is the one that is often used as medicines, however other parts of the Joe Pye plant, such as the leaves, are also made into tea for instance. Of all the Joe Pye weed parts, the roots are the strongest in terms of healing properties.
What are its Health Benefits?
- Joe Pye Weed is an Aphrodisiac
Joe Pye weed’s function as an aphrodisiac trace back into the American Indian culture. An aphrodisiac or a love drug is a substance that increases libido upon consumption. These are the health benefits of cinnamon.
- Joe Pye Weed is Diuretic
A diuretic is any substance that promotes and increases the production and release of urine. In the meantime, the part of the Joe Pye weed that serves this purpose are the leaves when made into tea. These are the spirulina benefits.
- Joe Pye Weed Can Be Used as a Fly Repellent
Fly repellent could be made out of the leaves of Joe Pye weed. The leaves release an apple scent, and when burnt it effectively gets rid of flies. These are the health benefits of bitter leaf.
- Joe Pye Weed Tea Has Numerous Health Advantages on its Own
Here is the maximum range health benefits that Joe Pye weed offers. The tea, which is occasionally mixed with flowers offers these following treatments; kidney and gall bladder stones, urinary tract infections (UTI), gout, prostatitis, impotence, respiratory diseases, fever, diarrhea, rheumatism, and much more. These are the health benefits of purple dead nettle.
- Joe Pye Weed is also Usable for Treating Burns
Anyone is able to use Joe Pye weed for treating burns. All one needs are the fresh leaves, which must be made into poultice first before being used as a treatment for burns. A poultice is a soft, moist material made out of plant extracts applied to the body to relieve soreness or inflammation, while kept in place under a layer of cloths. These are the health benefits of eating weed.
Joe Pye weed is not recommended for women who are in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Why? It is because the Joe Pye weed has a lot of natural chemicals, substances and compounds that could pose harm to infants or cause fetus malformations during pregnancy.
On the other hand, overdose of Joe Pye weed may lead to slight cases of intoxication, characterized by discomfort and nausea. Should this happen, it is very recommended to seek medical treatment immediately.
Finally, since the Joe Pye weed is invaluable for acute treatments, it is recommended for the patient to not use it for long term treatment due to the high content of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) it has.