Eupatorium purpureum Common name: gravel root
Parts used: Root and rhizome
Constituents: Volatile oil (0.07%), Flavonoids (euparin), Resin (eupurpurin), Iron phosphate, potassium chloride, silica, calcium, sodium, acid phosphate, pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Medicinal actions: Diuretic, renal stone solvent, stimulating nervine, tonic, alterative
Medicinal uses: Treatment of renal and urinary calculi. It is both stimulating and sedating to the renal apparatus. As a diuretic, it stimulates the flow of water and solutes. It is particularly helpful in removing urinary gravel.
Pharmacy: Tincture (fresh) (1:4; 35%), 1-5 ml TID. Dried root tincture (1:5; 25%), 1-5 ml TID. Decoction: 1 tsp/ cup, 1 to 2 cups/day.
Contraindications: Because of the pyrrolizidne alkaloids, internal use, particularly long-term, may lead to hepatotoxicity and should be avoided in patients with liver disease. Its use is also contraindicated in pregnancy due to its abortifacient effect and during breast feeding, again due to the pyrolizidine alkaloids.