pink flower of waterhemp with green background
[Eupatorium perfoliatum]

Growing water hemp: The specialist for colds

The water hemp has a very powerful name, this being exclusively due to the relationship of the leaf shape of the two plants. The Dost has no relation with real cannabis, but it is without question one of the great medicinal plants in our latitudes. Its main use is for colds and infections, as its active ingredients have a markedly positive effect on the immune system. In earlier times, it was still an important plant for dyers, as it was possible to create black tones with it - a color that was otherwise reserved for nature or required significantly more effort to be achieved.

Water Hemp Facts

Did you know that... used to be a sacred plant of the weather god, from which nicknames like "thunder herb" derive?

...the juice of the dost is used as insect repellent, because they find the smell repulsive?

...water hemp was successfully used in North America for centuries to treat malaria?

What is water hemp?

The water astragalus is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow up to two meters high in the best conditions. Its leaves are reminiscent of hemp in shape, pointed and elongated. The plant loves water and moisture, so it likes to be found in wet meadows, floodplains or heavily irrigated areas. If the amount of water is sufficient, the plant also enjoys full sun. However, in this case, its water consumption goes up sharply and the soil should be wet rather than moist. These characteristics also gave rise to its name water hemp, without having anything to do with the real cannabis. The Thoroughbred Waterhemp is originally from North America, although there are also native species. The waterweed belongs to the composite plants, blooms in a pure white or also delicate pink and is also relatively widespread in our country. Most often it is part of an ornamental garden planting.

General and medicinal properties of Eupatorium perfoliatum

The basic knowledge


Water hemp is immunostimulant. As a result, the body produces more immune cells and is better equipped against infections of any kind, whether fungi, viruses or bacteria.


Water hemp is blood and liver cleansing. It stimulates the liver and kidney activity, helps to make harmful substances urinable and excrete them through the kidneys. This also purifies the blood and relieves the whole organism.


Water hemp is draining. It stimulates the kidney in its work and helps it to reduce and eliminate existing water retention. Thick legs become thinner again and the subsequent problems of edema do not come into play.

Eupatorium perfoliatum: Ingredients

The water hemp contains some substances that have a strong stimulating effect on the body. This results in its use in acute situations. Permanent mediation is not advisable. The whole plant is processed.

  • Eupator
  • Resin
  • Bitters
  • Essential oils
  • Inulin
  • Tannins

Water hemp: effect for body and mind

The water hemp has an interesting mixture of active ingredients that make it particularly interesting when you want to activate the immune system. This property is accompanied by an antimicrobial ability that makes it suitable to fight off infections. It is diuretic, antipyretic and immunoactivating and was therefore often used by the Indians of North America to treat febrile diseases such as malaria. Its namesake, King Mithridates Eupator of Pontos, is also said to have used it successfully to treat his liver ailments. The bitter substances and tannins it contains make this historical account comprehensible, and indeed water astragalus is still frequently an ingredient in liver formulations today. But also its draining effect is often used when the patient suffers from edema of any kind. Today, however, the main focus of its use is undisputedly in the treatment of flu-like infections, colds and the associated symptoms such as fever and headache.

Properties of Eupatorium perfoliatum:

  • Antibacterial
  • Blood purifying
  • Immunostimulant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Sweaty

Fields of application in naturopathy

[Eupatorium perfoliatum]

Based on the ingredients listed above and the wealth of experience of North American natives, the following indications emerge for which water hemp is usually the plant of choice.

woman reaches for lemon - peppers and other fruit and vegetables on the worktop

Eupatorium perfoliatum for flu-like infections

Much experience was gained by the North American Natives in the use of water hemp, as it was the plant used to treat malaria. In malaria, the patient suffers mainly from intermittent fever. Here the hemp helps to lower the fever or make it less severe. It strengthens the immune system and thus helps to overcome the existing infection faster and get well again.

Growing water hemp for rheumatism

Some colds are accompanied by severe rheumatic limb and muscle pain. Since the Dost acts both against the infection itself and also has an anti-inflammatory effect, the rheumatic complaints go back and the pain disappears again.

Eupatorium perfoliatum for fever

Fever is a function of the body that it uses to keep the immune system sharp so that infections can be fought off. The water hemp helps to support the immune system. As a result, the body is relieved and does not have to raise the body temperature as much, if at all. The fever manifests itself thereby not at all or less and the body remains relieved.

Marbled water hemp for headaches

Many headaches are already harbingers of flu-like infections and are caused by latent inflammations. The water hemp acts directly against the infections and helps with its anti-inflammatory effect that the headache quickly recedes. It is often combined with other supporting plants.

Notes on the use of Eupatorium perfoliatum

Water hemp is taken as a cure in the form of tea, drops or tablets. It can be used individually or as a component of a mixture. In acute cases, it is usually taken several times a day or even hourly. Permanent use is not advisable, because the ingredients can overstimulate.

Water Hemp in Pregnancy & Lactation

Due to its irritating ingredients and tannin content, use during pregnancy and lactation is not advised.

Discover our recipes

With natural methods such as the individual spagyric sprays from Zimply Natural, complaints can be treated and sustainably alleviated.

Use the healing power of Eupatorium perfoliatum!

Use the healing power of the water hemp and our other more than 100 medicinal plants for the natural relief of your ailments. Improve your well-being and support your body, mind and soul! Use our configurator to create your personal spagyric spray, which is tailored to your needs and accompanies you on your natural path to the improvement of body, mind and soul.


Pink white flower of waterhemp



Botanical name

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Plant family


Other designations

Water astragalus, marbled waterhemp


July till September

Harvest time

July till September


semi-shady to sunny


North America

Flower color

pink, white

Flower shape


Leaf color


Leaf shape

unpaired, pinnate

Sheet properties

stem comprehensive

Soil type


Soil moisture



neutral to alkaline

Lime compatibility


Nutrient requirements




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