Elecampane is native to Eurasia. The plant has thick branching roots with thick rhizomes that are white on the inside and yellow on the outside. The erect, furrowed stem grows from 3 to 5 feet high and is very stout. Near the top, the stem becomes branched. The leaves are large, oval-shaped, and come to a point at the tip. They grow to as large as 1-1/2 feet long and 4 inches wide in the middle. The leaves are green on top with light hairs and velvety white on the underside. The flowers are golden-yellow and look like small sunflowers. The roots and rhizomes are harvested, dried, and cut or ground for use in teas, tinctures, and other preparations. Taken internally, Elecampane was historically used to calm and prevent coughing, it was also used as an expectorant and to fight intestinal worms.
History and Folklore:
The species name helenium can be traced back to Greek mythology. It was named after Helen of Troy, whose tears supposedly caused the plant to grow wherever they fell to the earth.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Harvest the roots and rhizomes in the fall. These should be taken from 2 to 3-year-old plants. Enough plants should be left in a stand to allow it to survive.
Do not take if pregnant.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Expectorant, Anthelmintic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Bitter, Antimicrobial, Carminative
Elfwort, Elfdock, Horseheal, Yellow Starwort, Marchalan, Wild Sunflower, Scabwort, Velvet Dock, Alanroot
Sambucus cerulea, S. mexicana, S. nigra, S. racemosa
Ingredients: Elecampane (Inula helenium)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.