Eutrochium spp. – Joe-Pye weed

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Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.) is a native plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. There are five different Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium) species present in North America. They often hybridize so can be difficult to differentiate.
Joe-pye weeds have pink-purple flowers that are present summer-fall. The stem is tall, erect, and has leaves arranged around it in whorls. The plant can be found in sunny areas with moist, rich soils such as in marshes and along streams.
Joe-pye weed was potentially named after a Native American named Jopi who used the plant to cure typhus. The plant has also been used for passing kidney stones, for joint stiffness, gout, rheumatism, and as a diuretic.
Tinctures or teas can be made from the roots, stems, leaves, or flowers. However, the plant is not recommended for long-term use or use in high doses as it contains potentially liver-damaging toxins called unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
The stems and leaves can also be bundled and burnt as a natural mosquito repellant.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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