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Herb—Elecampane (Inula Helenium)

Alias names for Elecampane: Inula Helenium, Family: N.O. Compositae also Asteracceae, Aunée, Alant, Alantwurzel , Aster helenium, Aster Officinalis, Aunée, Aunée Officinale, Echter Alant, Elf Dock, Elfdock, Elfwort, Enula Campana , Enule Campagne, Grande Aunée, Helenio, Helenium grandiflorum, Horse-Elder, Horseheal, Indian Elecampane, Inula helenium, Inula, Inule Aulnée, Inule Aunée, Inule Hélénie, Marchalan, Œil-de-cheval, Scabwort, Velvet Dock, Wild Sunflower, Yellow Starwort. The botanical name derives from the Helen of Troy legend.

Chinese Names for Elecampane: None found

Pictures of Elecampane:  


Elecampane (Inula helenium)

References for Elecampane picture: https://hermionesgarden.blogspot.com/2011/02/inula-helenium-elecampane.html  

About Elecampane:

Elecampane is a 4-5 foot tall perennial that grows on a rigid erect stem that is deeply furrowed. The plant branches near the top with pointed leaves that are 1-1.5 feet long and four inches across the middle where they are velvety underneath. The 3-4 inch diameter yellow flowers bloom from June-August and resemble a double sunflower. Inula helenium is notably prized by the Romans for food and medicinal purposes. Elecampane is native to western Asia and Europe but has been spread to now grow in many temperate parts of the globe including areas in the United States. It can be grown from seed in the spring or by root division in the fall. The plant grows best in shady, well drained but moist soil. The root is harvested in the fall and used fresh or dried at high temperatures for later use.

Actions and Historical Uses for Elecampane:

  • Alterative (a substance used to favorable influence the outcome)
  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Bronchitis
  • Chest complaints/infections
  • Colds
  • Coughs (soothes)
  • Diaphoretic (something that makes the body sweat)
  • Digestive problems
  • Diuretic (helps release retained water from the body)
  • Eliminates worms
  • Emphysema
  • Expectorant
  • Gentle stimulant
  • Infection
  • Loosens phlegm (mucolytic)
  • Menopause
  • Mildly bitter (so helping with gallbladder issue)
  • Night sweats
  • Tonic 

How Elecampane is used and how it Works: 

Elecampane has mucilaginous qualities from the inulin composition which helps to sooth the bronchial lining while the alantolactone is anti-inflammatory and stimulates the immune system and reduces mucus production. It is a stimulant, expectorant which aids in removing excess mucus from the lungs.

  • Elecampane Decoction for irritable coughs
  • Elecampane Tincture for bronchitis
  • Elecampane Syrup for coughs

Parts of the Elecampane Plant Used:

  • Fresh or Dried Root

Properties of Elecampane:

Anti-Inflammatory, Antiseptic, Diaphoretic, Digestive Stimulant, Diuretic, Eliminates Worms, Expectorant, Increases Sweating, Mildly Bitter, Sooths Cough, Stimulant, Tonic.

Chemical Constituents of Elecampane:

Alantol, Alantolactone, Alantolic acid, Dammaranedienol, Inulin, Polyacetylenes, Sesquiterpene lactones, Sterols, Triterpene saponins, Volatile oil

Contraindications, safety issues, concerns, harmful drug interactions and allergy precautions for Elecampane:

Elecampane can cause skin reactions and should not be used internally during pregnancy or nursing.

Helpful Links and References for Elecampane:

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