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ELECAMPANE a powerful antibacterial and fungicidal agent

The Latin name for Elecampane is Inula helenium; Inula comes from the phrase meaning ‘from the fields’ and helenium alludes to the legend of ‘Helen of Troy’ who is said to have been gathering the herb when she was abducted from Sparta.

In medieval times the ancient Greeks and Romans used elecampane as a general tonic to heal skin diseases, such as scabies and herbs, to expel worms and to treat dropsy, sciatica and leprosy. This herb has been used as a remedy for whooping cough and asthma, it also can help with colic and liver problems. For many years it has been used to help improve digestion, it has also been very helpful to heal skin infections in horses and sheep.

Elecampane root has at first a somewhat glutinous taste, but by chewing, it becomes subsequently aromatic, it is slightly bitter and pungent and has an agreeably aromatic somewhat camphoraceous orris-like odour. Elecampane is a large herbaceous perennial, indigenous to south-eastern Europe and western Asia but naturalised in Britain, Ireland and the north mid-west US. It has a thick, cylindrical, branched rhizome and an erect, sparsely branched, tough, furrowed stem, hairy in the lower part and downy above. The oval basal leaves narrow into a winged petiole, pointed at the tip and blunt-toothed at the edges.

Elecampane (Radix Inulae), consists of both rhizome or rootstock and roots. It is official in most pharmacopoeias, it has antiseptic properties – it aids the skin in eliminating toxins and promotes perspiration – Today the modern Herbalist mainly prescribes elecampane for treating coughs, colds and flu symptoms, bronchitis, cuts and grazes, the root contains inulin which has been used in place of sugar for people who suffer with diabetes.

By: Lesley-Ann Sales - Utah, United States
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