Inula helenium

Elecampane - Inula helenium (in the Asteraceae or Aster family)

Parts used: Root.

Taste/smell: Aromatic, pungent, sweet.

Tendencies: Slightly warming, drying, stimulating.

Dosage: Infusion: 1/2-1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Antiseptic, (b) Expectorant, (c) Diaphoretic, (d) Bitter tonic, (e) Carminative, (f) Antiparasitic, (g) Anti-inflammatory, (h) Immunomodulating, (i) Diuretic, (j) Alterative, (k) Emmenagogue, (l) Tonifying to the lungs and digestive system, (m) Strengthening and cleansing to the respiratory tract mucous membranes.

Elecampane is used in persistent bronchial catarrhs where there is an irritable cough, especially in chronic coughs of the elderly or invalid. It is specifically used for chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, tuberculosis, silicosis, asthma and emphysematous conditions. Elecampane is used for gastrointestinal ulcers. This antiulcer activity may be partially due to both the constituent, helenin, which has hemostatic properties, as well as alantolactone, which is a vermifuge. In China it is used for some types of malignancies.

Contraindications: Large doses may cause vomiting, diarrhea, gastric spasms and symptoms of paralysis and allergic hypersensitivity. It is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.