Asteraceae – Asteraceae (Compositae).
Popular names: elenina grass, divosil.
Parts used: rhizome and leaves.
Pharmacy name: elecampane rhizome – Helenii rhizoma (formerly: Rhizoma Helenii), elecampane leaves – Helenii folium (formerly: Folia Helenii), also Radix and Folia Helenii.
Botanical description.Perennial plant with hard, branching, thickened, fleshy rhizome. An upright furrowed stem over 1 (up to 2.5) m high, fleecy-pubescent, branched in the upper part, departs from it. Basal leaves are large, elongated-elliptical, with long petioles. Stem leaves are heart-shaped, amplexicaul. All leaves are felt-pubescent on the underside and unevenly crenate or serrated along the edge. Large inflorescences-baskets (6-7 cm in diameter) are yellow, single or loosely grouped. Blooms from June to September. In the wild state, it is found in rural pastures, in coastal shrubs, near hedges and fences. But still sometimes it is grown with great care in some household plots. Gathering I’m harvesting. The rhizomes of powerfully developed plants at least 3 years old are harvested in autumn or spring. For drying, they are cut into circles or lengthwise. Leaves are taken from young plants and dried in the air.
Active ingredients: essential oil with elecampane camphor (elenin), a mixture of various alantolactones, bitterness in the form of sesquiterpene lactones, polyacetylenes and a lot of inulin (composite starch).
Healing action and application. Medical use of elecampane is different. Here and thinning mucus and cough softening action, and a slight antispasmodic effect. This gives reason to consider elecampane as a proven component of good cough teas, which can also be effective for asthma and whooping cough. However, it must be said that only a few doctors actively use this plant.
- Tea from the rhizome of elecampane: 1 teaspoon with the top of raw materials, pour 1/4 liter of boiling water and let it brew for 15 minutes. For coughs and asthma, this tea is sweetened with honey and drunk in small sips. Dosage: 2-4 times every day for 1 cup.
- Tea mixture for cough: Inula rhizome 20.0 Thyme herb 15.0 Primrose root 5.0
Pour one teaspoon with the top of the mixture into 1/4 l of cold water, slowly heat to a boil, let it boil for about half a minute, strain and drink sweetened with honey, in small sips 2-4 times every day for 1 cup.
Application in folk medicine. It is not news that many ailments are treated with the same plant in folk medicine. This is especially true for elecampane. Here, lung diseases with cough are in the foreground, followed by gastrointestinal diseases, diseases of the gallbladder, liver, bladder and kidneys. It is also indicated for flatulence, jaundice, urinary retention, diarrhea and worms. Elecampane is used mainly in the form of tea according to the above recipe. In case of loss of appetite, it is recommended to chew the roots of elecampane before eating. It is believed that fresh leaves of elecampane, placed on wounds, promote their healing, accelerate the maturation of abscesses, and soften tumors. They also tried to make elecampane ointments, but they were not widely used.
Side effects. Overdoses lead to vomiting and stomach pain. Often there is an allergy. The German Public Health Service is of the opinion that, despite all the praise of the elecampane rhizome, its effectiveness in the above indications is not sufficiently confirmed, and therefore considers itself not entitled to speak out in favor of its use due to possible side effects.
Note. The above negative attitude towards elecampane, of course, cannot serve as a ban on its use.