---Part Used---Root. ---Habitat---Elecampane is one of our largest herbaceous plants. It is found widely distributed throughout England, though can scarcely be termed common, occurring only locally, in damp pastures and shady ground. It is probably a true native plant in southern England, but where found farther north may have originally only been an escape from cultivation, as it was cultivated for centuries as a medicinal plant, being a common remedy for sicknesses in the Middle Ages. When present in Scotland, it is considered to have been introduced. Culpepper says:
'It groweth in moist grounds and shadowy places oftener than in the dry and open borders of field and lanes and other waste places, almost in every county in this country, but it was probably more common in his days, cultivation of it being still general.'
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Diuretic, tonic, diaphoretic, expectorant, alterative, antiseptic, astringent and gently stimulant. It was employed by the ancients in certain diseases of women, also in phthisis, in dropsy and in skin affections. Its name 'Scabwort' arose from the fact that a decoction of it is said to cure sheep affected with the scab, and the name 'Horse-heal' was given it from its reputed virtues in curing the cutaneous diseases of horses.
In herbal medicine it is chiefly used for coughs, consumption and other pulmonary complaints, being a favourite domestic remedy for bronchitis. It has been employed for many years with good results in chest affections, for which it is a valuable medicine as it is in all chronic diseases of the lungs asthma and bronchitis. It gives relief to the respiratory difficulties and assists expectoration. Its principal employment as a separate remedy is in acute catarrhal affections, and in dyspepsia attended with relaxation and debility, given in small, warm and frequently repeated doses. It is, however, seldom given alone, but most frequently preferred in combination with other medicines of a similar nature. It is best given in the form of decoction, the dose being a small teaspoonful, three times a day.
The root used not only to be candied and eaten as a sweetmeat, but lozenges were made of it. It has been employed in whooping-cough. It is sometimes employed in the form of a confection for piles, 1 OZ. of powdered root being mixed with 2 OZ. of honey.
In the United States, it has also been highly recommended, both for external use and internal administration in diseases of the skin, an old use of the root that has maintained its reputation for efficacy.
Externally applied, it is somewhat rubefacient, and has been employed as an embrocation in the treatment of sciatica, facial and other neuralgia.
Of late years, modern scientific research has proved that the claims of Elecampane to be a valuable remedy in pulmonary diseases has a solid basis. One authority, Korab, showed in 1885 that the active, bitter principle, Helenin, is such a powerful antiseptic and bactericide, that a few drops of a solution of 1 part in 10,000 immediately kills the ordinary bacterial organisms, being peculiarly destructive to the Tubercle bacillus. He gave it successfully in tubercular and catarrhal diarrhoeas, and praised it also as an antiseptic in surgery. In Spain it has been made use of as a surgical dressing. Obiol, in 1886, stated it to be an efficient local remedy in the treatment of diphtheria, the false membrane being painted with a solution of Helenin in Oil of Almond.
Proprieties and Benefits of Elecampane
Elecampane contains vitamins, minerals, nutrients, magnesium, iron, iodine and sodium. It is rich in calcium and phosphor, which is why it is recommended to be part of the daily diet of people who need calcium. It contains little calories, with 25% proteins and 2% fat. The herb also contains beta-carotene, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B5, vitamins A, C, E and selenium. Thus the herb is able to modify the bronchic secretions, soothing cough bouts, eliminates the Koch bacillus; it's an expectorant, spasmolytic, antihelmintic, diuretic and antiviral.
Elecampane is used for treating both internal as well as external afflictions.
Internally, it is known for stimulating the process for dissolving fat. It also detoxifies the body. Elecampane contains all the minerals and vitamins that the body needs to strengthen its immune system.
Elecampane is used for decreasing the level of cholesterol, purify the blood and for preventing the forming of ulcers. Because of the high quantity of inuline that it contains, the herb is used as an expectorant, eliminating the secretions of chronic bronchitis, and soothing bronchic spasms.
The herb is effective in calming stressful moods by inducing a state of tranquility followed by sleep. Due to its diuretic effects, elecampane detoxifies the body and alleviates rheumatism.
The bitter compound from within the herb stimulates biliary secretion. Alantolactone and izoalantolactone which are contained by the elecampane root can eliminate intestinal parasites.
Externally, the elecampane root is used in cosmetics, cicatrizing the marks left by acne, and is also used for washing hair. It is also useful for facial skin suffering from irritations and itchiness.
Elecampane decoct is made from 20g root added to 200g water. Later, 3 to 4 spoonful of this mixture are consumed daily. Externally, a decoct can be obtained from boiling 10g of dry grated root in 200ml water, until the water level decreases.
Elecampane tea is obtained by mixing common mallow root with liquorice. After that, 2 spoons of the mixture are put in a cup of cold water. It is then left for 8 hours, after which it is filtered and sweetened. The mixture is then consumed during the rest of the day.
Elecampane soup is efficient in alleviating the unpleasant effects of menopause. This is due to the high quantity of minerals that it contains, which enables it to ?feed? the blood and treat back pains. The soup is prepared by putting 30g of dry elecampane herb in 250ml of boiling water along with a spoonful of soy sauce and half a spoon of pepper. The soup is consumed while hot.
Tonic wine made from elecampane is obtained from 250g of elecampane root macerated in one liter of wine. It is then left to sit for 8 days, while being mixed daily. It is recommended in cases of cough bouts, when a small glass of wine is consumed. The wine can also be prepared by adding 30g of powdered elecampane in 60g alcohol of 70 degrees, and after 24 hours a liter of old wine is poured over. It is then left to macerate for 10 days and is then put in bottles.
The unguent made from elecampane is mixed with lard. The areas of the body affected by scabies are rubbed with this unguent.
To treat arthrosclerosis, a decoct made from 2 spoonfuls of elecampane are mixed in a glass of water. It is left for 3 hours, after which it is boiled for 10 minutes. From the resulting mixture 2 glasses are consumed 3 days a day for 1 month.