Gravel root, or eupatorium purpureum, is a healing herb that has been used for centuries, even as early as the B.C. era. History can trace how different cultures of the world have used gravel root to treat different health ailments. Native to North America, this perennial plant is widely grown in Florida, Texas, and Canada and is commonly found in damp woodlands and meadows.
It’s also lauded for chemical constituents called benzofurans that have beneficial anti-inflammatory activity. This is especially important as an all-natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also been found to contain the cell adhesion blocker Cistifolin.
The herb can grow from three to twelve feet tall. Its leaves have serrated edges with a downy underside. The small flowers grow in clusters, with colors ranging from pale magenta, pink, to white. Its roots are often hollow and grayish brown in color.
The ethymology of the name ‘gravel root’ is commonly attributed to its ability to break down kidney stones or gravel. Included in the plant family asteraceae, the most potent parts of the herb are its roots, leaves, and rhizomes: its root-like stems. They contain high concentrations of substances like flavonoids and tannins that are important to metabolism.
Gravel root is also known for its other names such as eupatoire pourpre, Sweet Joe-Pye weed, Purple trumpet weed, kidney root, and queen of the meadow. Another scientific name is Eutrochium purpureum.
Who Can Benefit from It
Considered by Native American Indians as antilithic (anti-stone), gravel root is primarily used to remove kidney stones. It also provides nutritional support for the urinary tract by relieving painful bouts of urination.
Aside from the stones formed in the kidney, gravel root has been cited to dissolve gallstones and prevent them from forming again. It also lessens uric acid buildup in the joints that leads to arthritis and gouts thanks to its cleansing capacity.
There are a few other alternative holistic uses of this herb. Here are some of the main ones.
Gravel Root Benefits
Its main benefits and uses include:
- Curing urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Remedy for kidney stones
- Alleviating rheumatism and the uric acid buildup that causes gout
- Abating fever from malaria, dengue fever virus, or typhus
- Relieving heartburn from excessive buildup of gastric acid
Due to its astringent and diuretic properties, the herb is sometimes used to combat edema by flushing out excess water. Native North American Indians also use it as a diaphoretic to promote sweating, which is also helpful in breaking a fever. Gravel root also reduces stomach acid production.
The most common ways of ingesting gravel root is in liquid forms and extract powder supplement capsules. Its dried roots and flowers are infused to create tea sometimes called in traditional medicine “Queen of the Meadow Tea.” Tinctures can also be made.
Scientific communities have started to validate the herb’s benefits, and while more scientific studies and clinical trials are needed, many still continue to use gavel root tea due to its timeless holistic reputation for curing a host of maladies and as a kidney detox and gallbladder cleanse for gall bladder stones.
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