The root of elecampane (Inula helenium), a perennial with lovely yellow daisy-like flowers, has been used in folk medicine to ease children’s coughs and catarrhal inflammation. It has antibacterial and antispasmodic qualities. Sometimes it is used to help heal the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. It can be used to support the healing or soothing of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, gastroeteritis, nausea, indigestion, flatulence, and colic. Elecampane can also help promote healthy gut flora. It can help the immune system and reduce inflammation, making it useful in soothing arthritis and the symptoms of autoimmune disease. For the urinary system, it can act as a diuretic and help provide relief from urinary tract infections.
Elecampane can be used as a tea, cough syrup or a tincture. For a tea, pour 1 cup cold water onto 1 teaspoon of shredded root and let sit for 8-10 hours; heat up and take very hot 3 x day. The fresh or dried root can be tinctured. As a tincture, take 1-2ml 3 x day.
Warning: Avoid use if pregnant of breastfeeding. Do not take in large amounts. Doing so can cause vomiting, diarrhea, spasms, and paralysis. Elecampane can cause an allergic reaction in people with an allergy to ragweed. It may interfere with blood sugar control in people who have diabetes, so monitor your blood sugar carefully if you are diabetic and using elecampane. It may also interfere with blood pressure control, so monitor your blood pressure carefully if you have blood pressure issues and are taking elecampane.