Inula helenium Common name: Elecampane
Parts used: Root or rhizome
Constituents: CHOs, especially as mucilage & Inulin (40%) Volatile oil (1-4%) containing bitter sesquiterpene lactones (alantolactone, isoalantolactone, alantopicrin, alantic acid & azulene), saponins, sterols, resin.
Medicinal actions: Diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, alterative, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic
Medicinal use: It is used in any chronic lung condition as a trophorestorative. It acts as a warming expectorant, and is anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory and somewhat sedating overall, is most indicated in irritating bronchial coughs (astham, TB, whooping cough, croup), especially in children or the elderly. Will remove excess mucus and chronic catarrh). As a warming digestive bitter will tonify the digestive tract as a whole. Has traditional use as a surgical antiseptic and can be used as an antimicrobial topically.
Pharmacy: Tincture (1:5, 25%) 2-5 ml TID. Powdered herb: 2-4 g daily. Cold infusion of 1 tsp/cup; let steep overnight; drink 1 cup TID hot the next day.
Toxicity: None known.
Interactions: None known.