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Elecampane - Uses and Benefits

Alternative Names:

Wild Sunflower, Alant, Elfwort, Elf Dock, Velvet Dock, Scabwort, Yellow Starwort, Elecampagne, Horseheal, Horse Elder .

Herb Description

Elecampane is one of the largest herbaceous perennial. It is native to south-eastern Europe & western Asia but  originated in Britain, Ireland and the north mid-west US. Elecampane grows on roadside areas, and damp fields and pastures. This plant prefers full sun in a damp, but not soggy area. It is a perennial that reaches 3 to 6 feet tall. The dried roots and rhizomes are collected in fall or early winter and used in herbal remedy.

Elecampane has a thick, cylindrical, branched rhizome and an erect stem grows from 4 - 5 feet high, is very stout and deeply furrowed, and near the top, branched . It produces a radical rosette of enormous, basal leaves narrow into a winged petiole, pointed at the tip and blunt-toothed at the edges. The single flower heads mature at the ends of the branches from the axils of the leaves or bracts, and are generally arranged in sparse umbels.The plant flowers in June to August. The flowers are bright yellow, on long stalks, resembling a double sunflower .Flowers are very large in size, terminal heads are 3 - 4 inches in diameter.

It was cultivated for centuries as a medicinal perennial, being a common treatment for sicknesses in the Middle Ages. Historically, elecampane have used by herbalists to treat coughs , particularly those combination with asthma , bronchitis , and whooping cough. The herb traditionally has also been used to cure low digestion and general symptoms of the intestinal tract.

Properties

  • Stimulating expectorant.
  • Antitussive.
  • Sedative.
  • Anthelmintic.
  • Diaphoretic.
  • Stomachic.
  • Bactericidal.
  • Anti fungal.
  • Anti parasitic.
  • Relaxant.
  • Tonic.
  • Alterative.
  • Diuretic.

Uses and Benefits

Elecampane may be effective if used in any respiratory cases which produces copious catarrh, such as bronchitis and emphysema . As an expectorant, diuretic and diaphoretic, its root and rhizomes are used to treat emphysema, and bronchitis. It is found in cough drops and liquors . The young roots preserved with sugar, or made into a syrup, useful with cough, breath shortness, and wheezing in the lungs. The powdered root used with sugar is beneficial for those who have their stone in the kidneys or bladder , for urine stopped, for the stopping of women's menstrual process. Traditionally it was used to treat the cough of pulmonary tuberculosis.Its principal action as a separate treatment is in complex catarrhal affections, and in dyspepsia attended with relaxation and debility, taken in small, warm and continual doses.The fresh root is also cooked as a vegetable, and can be taken in wines & liqueurs. A wash can be made of the roots & leaves to cleanse the skin and to cure blemishes.

Elecampane as an alterative capable of changing problematic conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function, generally by improving nutrition. Elecampane as an antibacterial used to destroys bacteria & bactericide. As an anthelmintic it destroys intestinal worms & parasites. Elecampane as an antiseptic agent inhibiting the production of micro-organism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria .As a cholagogue elecampane works effectively for enhancing the flow of bile into the intestines.As a diuretic it increases the flow & volume of urine which cleanses the urinary system. Elecampane as an expectorant promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages. As a tonic it strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being. As a stimulant it excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues providing more energy. As a rubefacient it ease the local irritant that causes blisters, inflammation & reddening of the skin.

Side Effects

Excess dose of elecampane causes symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, spasms, and signs of paralysis.

It is recommended that use of elecampane with care,because it is severely irritating to the lining of the throat, nose, stomach, and intestines, and frequently triggers an allergic reaction.

Elecampane should not be used by pregnant or nursing women .

Elecampane may produce hypersensitivity reactions in patients with an existing allergy to perennials in the Asteraceae family. Alantolactones may cause irritation in the mucous membranes.

Dosage

  • Dried root:

1.5 to 3 gm or by decoction . Use three times in a day.

  • Liquid Extract:

1:1 in 25% alcohol, 1 to 2 ml . Use three times in a day.

  • Tincture:

1:5 in 25% alcohol, 3to 5 ml. Use three times in a day.

Drug Interactions

No interactions have been reported till yet.

Elecampane

Ephedra

Eucalyptus

Evening Primrose

Eyebright

Fennel

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Feverfew

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Nettle

 

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