Also known as sweet Joe-Pye weed or trumpet weed, gravel root for dogs is a very interesting and almost obscure herbal option. The name doesn’t sound entirely enticing, but gravel root is a versatile herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower family. It can be found in eastern and central North America and is noted for growing in clumps.
While its odd name may put some people off, gravel root is named for its ability to clear out gallstones and bladder stones. This makes this herb ideal for helping urinary issues, as its diuretic qualities help make it a tonic of sorts. It contains euparin, a solvent that assists in increasing the quality and overall frequency of urination.
Gravel root for dogs has been used for centuries to treat a range of health grievances, from urinary tract difficulties to gout and even arthritis. The possibilities of gravel root for your four-legged friend have only just begun to be explored by the scientific community, so this is a great time to investigate exactly what this plant can do.
What are the health benefits of Gravel Root?
Therapeutic Uses of Gravel Root for Dogs
Gravel root is blessed by having a host of compounds and elements within that break down kidney stones and gallstones, but it’s also beneficial for other concerns. The roots, leaves and rhizomes of this herb are most useful, with concentrations of oleoresin euparin, tannins, flavonoids, and sesquiterpene supporting metabolic function.
- Break Down Kidney Stones: Gravel root has been used by many, including Native American herbalists, to break down kidney stones. Most of the available evidence for this is largely anecdotal, but there are stories about how this herb has worked wonders for many. A gravel root tea is best here, as it can be digested easily by your pet and can produce qualitative results. Always use gravel root from trusted herbal sources before administering to your dog.
- Treat Gallstones: Gravel root can be used to treat the hardened deposits known as gallstones. These gallstones, which accrue in your pet’s digestive fluid, can become extremely painful and can lead to other health complications. Gravel root, either as a tea or tincture, can alleviate the symptoms of gallstones by breaking down the deposits or prevent further gallstones from reforming.
- Cleanse The Kidney: If we continue the trend of gravel root breaking things down, we come to gout. Caused by an excess of uric acid in the joints, gout is a painful condition. Gravel root can be used to cleanse the kidney, as in its treatment of kidney stones, and therefore alleviates the build-up of uric acid. This cleaning of the organ breaks down any deposits and keeps things in working order, assuaging the symptoms and creating lasting relief.
- Treat Urinary Tract Infections: There is anecdotal evidence that suggests gravel root can be used to treat urinary tract infections. This makes sense when you consider its effect on the accrual of uric acid and its impact on treating kidney stones. The historical evidence illustrates cases in which gravel root was used to treat bouts of painful urination, with astringent properties soothing the nerves of the urinary tract.
As with all herbal treatments, we recommend that you only use sources you trust. Wild-crafted gravel root or certified organic gravel root are the only acceptable forms, in our opinion. There are low quality herbal supplements on the market, as always, but these should be avoided as they may create more problems than solutions for your pet.
Gravel root should not be used by nursing or pregnant dogs. There have been some reports of gravel root causing stomach pain and liver problems when taken in excess, so be mindful of the dosage and follow any instructions on the packaging. You can purchase gravel root in capsule form as well, which is a pretty safe bet for your four-legged friend.
Reasons to Use Gravel Root for Dogs
As we’ve outlined, gravel root for dogs is a fascinating herbal supplement. From its treatment of urinary tract infections to its use breaking down kidney stones and gallstones, gravel root has earned its name by grinding down problematic deposits in your dog. This herb hasn’t been the subject of much scientific study, but the historical record confirms its usage over the course of centuries. That makes gravel root for dogs something well worth looking into.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen