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Family name: Compositae
Genus and Species: Inula helenium
Common Name: Elecampane, Wild Sunflower
Lifespan: Herbaceous Perennial
Growing Conditions: grows 5 feet tall and produces daisy like yellow flowers; the huge leaves are covered with wooly hairs; likes rich, moist well drained slightly acid soil and full sun or partial shade.
Propagation: from seeds sown in late winter and transplanted outside which is what I did; cuttings taken from the root in autumn
Parts used:root
Harvest: dig the roots in autumn of their second year (older roots become too woody)
Preparation: I dry the roots by slicing them into pieces and laying them on screens in my herb drying cabinet.

Medicinal Uses:

Actions: expectorant, eases coughing, increases sweating, mildy bitter, antiseptic, stimulating, cleansing and tonic to the mucous membranes
Tinctures: Elecampane combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot, Pleurisy Root and Yarrow.
Teas: I use elecampane root in a tea blend which also contains yarrow, elderflowers, and peppermint, to clear up hayfever associated with sinusitis.


Elecampane (2nd year plants) in my garden