Elecampane Root has been famous for centuries for its benefits in healing respiratory track issues - bronchitis, coughs and asthma, as well as digestive problems.
Few people have ever heard of elecampane, yet as this herb proves itself powerful in healing more and more conditions, it’s just a matter of time until elecampane takes its rightful place in the spotlight. As its Latin name suggests, it is a rich source of the compound known as inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic found in some plants that nourishes beneficial microbes in the intestines. Additionally, elecampane has many other uses, some of which include:
For those who Elecampane well, it is one of the favorite herbs to treat and strengthen the respiratory system.
Elecampane tincture is an effective cure for many types of respiratory ailments, including bronchitis. Essential oil gives the roots expectorant, anti-inflammatory and warming properties that help break up congestion and calm coughs.
Its antibacterial property is so effective; it kills the organism that causes tuberculosis.
Frequent intake of elecampane root tea can relieve symptoms of chronic bronchitis, asthma and other chronic lung conditions, as well as help your lungs become strong and resilient, but you must be armed with patience and use it for a month or two. Like most herbal remedies, it cures the problem slowly and thoroughly.
People used elecampane root tincture as a digestive stimulant and cure for upset stomach for hundreds of years. It contains a whopping 44% of the prebiotic compound inulin.
Prebiotics support and nourish healthy gut flora and are one of the favourite foods of probiotics, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Colonies of these beneficial bacteria in the gut help to stave off infections, prevent inflammation and encourage healthy bowels.
In the case of loss of appetite and feelings of lethargy due to poor nutrient absorption, Elecampane enhances nutrient absorption and encourages proper function of the digestive system.
Additionally, a clinical trial conducted in 1977 showed that an extract from Elecampane root demonstrated ulcer healing properties, relieved painful symptoms and improved gastric mucosal circulation.
This remedy is particularly helpful for refreshing the appetite after a bout with the flu or other illness.
In a recent study published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists assessed the ability of hundreds of herbal extracts to prevent breast cancer tumors from growing. Elecampane root extract proved to be one of the most potent. It effectively stopped cancer cells from dividing, thereby inhibiting tumor growth.
The phytochemicals alantolactone and isoalantolactone contained in the roots of Elecampane have anthelmintic and anti-parasitic properties. These compounds are effective in destroying and expellling parasites from the intestine such as: roundworms, pinworms, hookworms, whipworms and threadworms.
The high inulin content in Elecampane is also helpful for people with blood sugar issues, such as Type II Diabetes. The inulin slows down sugar metabolism, reducing the harmful blood glucose spikes that contribute to insulin resistance. Consuming inulin rich foods helps to restore normal levels of blood sugar and protect you from dangerous effects that diabetes has on the body.
Elecampane root tincture has anti-inflammatory properties and when used topically it help relieve eczema and other types of skin inflammation. Alantolactone in the roots seems to be responsible for this healing property. You can effortlessly prepare a wash by diluting the root decoction.
Elecampane may possess mild sedative properties and like many herbal teas, it could be useful in calming your nerves and anxiety.
Warm cup of tea made from the herb before bed may be just what you need to get a good night’s sleep. Herb that works for one person will not essentially work for another but given that elecampane is usually considered as safe; it would not hurt to give it a go.
Scientific research has found that the herb possesses some mild antibacterial actions which can further help relieve colds and infections caused by bacteria.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - To make Elecampane root tea take 2 tbsp of dried root, boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
Add honey or any natural sweetener to taste.Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Poultice/Compress - Take 1-2 tablespoons (or as much as it is needed to cover the affected area) of elecampane, add a few drops of hot water and mix into a paste. Apply the paste on the desired area, cover it with a gauze and let stay for at least one hour, or overnight.
Alternatively, you can dilute the tea and wash your skin with it to get the relief from skin issues.
The taste: The taste of the fresh or dried root is strong: it imparts a bitter, spicy and warming flavor all at once. We recommend trying it, and then deciding if it needs some extra honey or lemon.
Combines well with: Elecampane combines perfectly with Mullein and Licorice to help clear the lungs and with Aniseed and Lobelia to release spasm and constriction in the chest.
It can also be a tremendous ally with Hawthorn when a person has become generally weakened in their heart and lungs - in such cases the long-term use of the two herbs together can be nothing short of life-changing.
Precaution: Although it is best to use elecampane for a longer amount of time to truly get the amazing benefits it has to offer, follow the recommended dosage.
In larger amounts it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and spasms.
Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
Elecampane causes sleepiness, therefore it is recommended to stop taking it at least two weeks prior to surgery. Furthermore, you should not use these herbal remedies if you are going to operate heavy machinery or drive a car.If you are taking prescription medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before using this herb.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
Elecampane has a very long and distinguished history of use. It was beloved by the Celts and revered by the Romans, making this distant cousin of sunflower one of the world’s oldest herbal medicines.
Its many health benefits were recognised by the Ancient Greeks and Romans who used this herb as a general health tonic and a remedy for many ailments. According to Hippocrates it stimulates the brain, kidneys, stomach and uterus. He also used it to treat chronic skin eruptions, itching and pain caused by animal bites (a very real danger back in the day).
The 'father of medicine' Hippocrates said Elecampane stimulates the brain, kidneys, stomach and uterus and the great Roman naturalist Pliny wrote 'let no day pass without eating some roots of Elecampane to help digestion, expel melancholy and cause mirth'.
It is a striking plant, growing to four or five feet tall and sporting large yellow flowers that look like a cross between dandelion heads and sunflowers.
Historically prescribed as a digestive tonic, it is also famously used to flavor absinthe and vermouth, and in the 1800’s, lozenges, candy, and cough drops were all produced from elecampane root.
Elecampane is reputed to owe its genus name "Inula Helenium", to the fabled beauty Helen of Troy. One legend says that she was carrying a bunch of Elecampane flowers when she was captured by Paris, the son of the Trojan king Praim, who took her to Troy. Another says that the flowers sprang from her tears. Yet another legend suggests that she was the first to use Elecampane for the bites of “venomous serpents.”
As for its magical uses, Elecampane is also known as "Elf wort" in old folklore as it was thought to heal magical wounds from the arrow of an elf. In fact, Anglo Saxons actually used it to treat illnesses caused by elf arrows!
Health benefits of elecampane root include the use for respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, coughs as well as bronchitis. It will aid in the healing of bronchitis by drying up the mucus secretions. It is also a remedy for the treatment of tuberculosis. As a matter of fact, long before antibiotics came into existence; it was used as remedy for tuberculosis.
Elecampane can be found throughout Great Britain, central and southern Europe, the temperate zones of Asia west of the Himalayas, and the eastern and central regions of North America.
It is found growing wild in damp meadows, wet-mesic pastures, old fields and roadsides. It prefers a moist, well-drained clay loam in a damp, partly shaded environment and is easily grown from seed and from cuttings.
Common Names: Scabwort, marchalan, elf dock, wild sunflower, horseheal, velvet dock, Horse Heal, Marchalan, Alant, Aster helenium, Aster officinalis, Aunée, Elfwort, Enule Campagne, Grande Aunée, Helenio, Helenium grandiflorum, Horse-Elder, Wild Sunflower