Also known as
Inula helenium, Alant, Aster helenium, Aster officinalis, Elfdock, Elfwort, Helenium grandiflorum, Horse-Elder, Horseheal, Scabwort, Velvet Dock, Wild Sunflower, Yellow Starwort.
Elecampane is a member of the same plant family as the sunflowers and ragweed, native to southern and eastern Europe but naturalized around the world. It is named after Helen of Troy, who carried the flowers with her when Paris abducted her from Sparta. The 6- to 8-foot (200-250 cm) tall plant has large, pointed leaves with downy gray undersides, and yellow summer flowers. It is used extensively for horses and livestock, specifically for skin diseases in horses and sheep. Early American folklore relates that it can cure hydrophobia in cows. Elecampane is also said to enhance psychic abilities and works involving scrying, as well as being one part of a 9 herb bath blend that is said to impart protection from witches.
Bitter substances known as alanto-lactones and up to 45% inulin.
Roots and rhizomes dug from 2- to 3-year-old plants, dried and cut.
Usually taken as a tea. Added to cough syrups, expectorants, herbal diuretics, pain remedies, and roborants (for bringing out color from pale skin). Can also be taken internally in the form of a capsule or extract. It has also been known to be candied and eaten as a sweetmeat.
If you are allergic to ragweed, you may be allergic to elecampane. Taking too much of the herb can cause cramps and diarrhea. Do not use more than 1 gram (one-quarter teaspoon) of the herb in any one dose, or more than 3 grams (a little less than a teaspoon) in a day. Not to be used while pregnant.
Some cases have been reported of nausea and vomiting probably from over-use. Not recommended for long term use.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.