Benefits of Joe Pye

By Meredith Berg , last updated March 8, 2012

As winter marches on, the threat of flu and the common cold continues to loom. But did you know a simple, common weed has held the homeopathic cure for lung-related diseases for hundreds of years? The weed is known as Joe Pye, and can be used, in moderation, to relieve flu-type ailments. Check out these benefits of Joe Pye and consider trying it out next time you want a gentle solution to the common cold or flu.

A Weed by any Other Name

There is much debate over the genesis of the name Joe Pye. Stories circulate that the weed is named directly after a man in the eighteenth century who used this Native American medicine to help cure an outbreak of typhus. Critics of this theory point out that the more clinical name of the weed, jopiweed, could be the real reason for the name. Jopi was a Native American word for typhoid, and the jopiweed was used to mitigate its effects to help victims survive the disease. If said out loud, jopiweed sounds like Joe Pye weed. Regardless, either possible history implies a reliance on the plant for addressing a very serious disease.

Joe Pye weed can be identified by its large flowering purple head. Aptly named, it is a plant that grows easily and large. Sometimes this attractive weed is incorporated into home gardens because of its beautiful pink and lavender color. If you have a green thumb yourself, you may want to add this into your landscape and use it for your own homeopathic care.

What Does Joe Pye Weed Cure?

In the times of plague, Joe Pye weed was used to promote sweating to stimulate the immune system and regulate body temperature. It can be very helpful for those suffering from mucous congestion if inhaled. Taken orally, it has been known to relieve congestion and other digestive concerns. For flu sufferers, consider combining Joe Pye with yarrow, elder flowers, cayenne, or ginger to make a therapeutic tea.

Be Safe

Joe Pye can be toxic in excessive quantities. Always check with a medical professional before engaging in a new medical therapy. Make sure that Joe Pye does not counteract or exacerbate the effect of any medications you are currently taking. If you suffer from painful side effects, particularly digestively, then cease taking it immediately. If you currently see an herbalist, check in with him or her to discuss your interest in Joe Pye. Often it can be combined with other things to be even more effective, or to make it less abrasive on your system.

How to Make a Joe Pye Infusion

If you are certain that you will be able to safely take Joe Pye, then the method you may prefer is making an infusion. Use one to two teaspoons of the dried herb for every one cup of boiling water. Drop the herb into the boiling water and let it steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Drink the hot beverage every half hour.

Besides addressing issues of lung distress and digestive issues, Joe Pye can also be used to help with rheumatoid arthritis.

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