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Elecampane

Inula helenium| herb info from the Happy Herb Company

Botanical name:

Inula helenium

Elecampane is a plant that has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. A gently warming and tonic herb, it is especially effective in treating coughs, bronchitis and many other complaints of the chest as well as disorders of the digestive system.It also restores the lungs by healing damaged lung linings.

Essentially it is a very safe plant to use, it is suitable for the old and the young and especially useful when the patient is debilitated by their chest issues. It cleanses toxins from the body, stimulating the immune and digestive systems and treating bacterial and fungal infections, and is also good for the pancreas as a rich source of insulin.

The root contains alantolactone, which is strongly anthelmintic (compounds that expel parasitic worms from the body). Alantolactone has an anti-inflammatory action, it also reduces mucous secretions and stimulates the immune system.. The plant is sometimes recommended as an external wash for skin inflammations and varicose ulcers, but has been known to cause allergic reactions.

To make a decoction of the root:

  • Soak 30gm in 3 cups of water for an hour. Then boil for 1-2 minutes and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Strain and sweeten with honey if desired.
  • Take 1 cupful ½ hour before each meal.

Use the decoction as a wash or poultice externally for  sores, ulcers and skin disorders.

Precautions / Contraindications

This plant/remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women. It is powerful and sucking on more than a small piece may irritate the mucous membrane

References

Shipard, I. (2003). How can I use herbs in my daily life? Nambour: Stewart
Thorpe, R. (2001). Happy High Herbs 6th Ed. Loch:Possibility.com
Plants for a Future (1996-2010). Inula helenium - L. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Inula+helenium

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