Enjoy but don’t use…

Joe-Pye Weed copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Joe-Pye Weed copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Joe-Pye Weed, aka Queen of the Meadow, Kidney Root, Trumpet Weed, Purple or Tall Boneset, Gravel Root, welcomes visitors along the outer edges of forests. This late summer/early fall bloomer draws attention from its stature and multitude of clustered flowers.

Forest's edge copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Forest’s edge copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg


Time has changed the value of this native plant’s use by man (or woman). Sweet Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatoriadelphus purpureus), is said to be named after an Indian herbalist and healer. Proof of the existence of him has yet to be found, but the medicinal properties was evident enough that early Europeans immigrants embraced its use. However I am not endorsing its use as webmd.com warns of dangerous side effects:

There’s a lot of concern about using gravel root as medicine, because it contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block bloodflow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancerand birth defects. Gravel root preparations that are not certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free” are considered UNSAFE.”

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