Elecampane: A Beautiful Garden Flower with Medicinal Roots

imageElecampane is a tall perennial that grows over four feet tall and has cheery golden yellow flowers like a sunflower, but elecampane has thinner floret petals with fringe tips.

The Latin name is Inula helenium with the species name Helen stemming from Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships. Elecampane flowers are really that stunning and it did launch a thousand ships when it was brought to North America from Europe. It likes to grow in full sun in open moist meadows. The plant is best propagated by root division spacing four or feet apart, because they have huge course leaves.

The genus name Inula refers to the inulin content found in almost half of the plant, which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels as a fibre, and regulates the immune system, which is good for autoimmune disorders. Inulin is a fibre, but should only be used in whole form, attached to the whole plant root it is soluble starch fibre. The whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. Whenever plant parts are removed the outcome and quality are always compromised.

The root is used in herbal medicine for coughs, colds and to get rid of parasites mainly, but it is a good restorative and tonic for chronic fatigue and infections.

It benefits the hypothalamus, and is a thymus, spleen, endocrine tonic. It has digestive, respiratory and immune stimulating properties that make it good to combat infections, especially of the respiratory, digestive tract or in cases of parasitic, worm infections or food poisoning.

The root was popular candied and to make ale or beer drinks, but even then the candied root tastes bitter and pungent. The bitter quality helps to stimulate the body through reflex reactions of the digestive and respiratory tracts.

Common Name Elecampane root
Latin Name Inula helenium
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used Perennial- harvest second year or older root in the Fall
Target Organs immune, endocrine, digestion, respiratory, stomach, pancreas, spleen, uterus, nerves, liver, kidney/ bladder
Common Uses endocrine restorative, spleen thymus tonic, immune stimulant, infections, coughs, colds, catarrh, bronchitis, UTI, digestive, parasites, worms, stomach upset, food poisoning, fatigue, allergies,diabetes,
Properties digestive immune respiratory stimulant, antimicrobial, demulcent, expectorant, anti-tussive, stomachic, astringent, demulcent, bitter tonic, warming, drying, anti-allergenic
Constituents 40% inulin,E.O: camphor, sesquiterpenes lactones; mucilage, triterpenes, bitter resin, alkaloid, helinin, sterols, calcium, magnesium
Cautions mild remedy: combine with demulcents for dry coughs. Do not use during pregnancy it is a uterine stimulant.
Dosage Tincture: best used in formulation

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8 Comments to “Elecampane: A Beautiful Garden Flower with Medicinal Roots”

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