Elecampane is an important medicinal plant for the modern day herb pharmacopeia. Both beautiful and versatile, Elecampane is perennial to zone 3. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, Elecampane grows very large with yellow flowers and very large leaves. Today we can find it growing around the world.
Also called Elfdock, this sunflower relative’s root is a favorite warming herbal tonic for a dry unproductive cough and is a vital respiratory tonic. Elecampane greatly speeds healing of various lung infections and is particularly useful for chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. Use is also more sustainable then at risk Osha as Elecampane can be cultivated easily. For those who hold grief in their chest and lungs, Elecampane is a star and helps move stagnant emotions. Elfdock is specific for conditions where there is irritation of the trachea and bronchi that can manifest as a persistent, irritable cough. Elecampane is also a wonderful expectorant and acts as an astringent to reduce excess mucous overall.
Elecampane also has carminative properties, bitter actions that encourage healthy digestion, is helpful for skin eruptions that manifest from sluggish digestion and is rich in the very beneficial prebiotic inulin. Thus, the Latin name implies. This root is both a diuretic and diaphoretic and a hot decoction of the root will help detoxify the body internally as well as induce sweating that help break a fever.
Elecampane was a sacred and magical plant of the ancient Celts and has a history of use as magical protection where it was once worked with as an aid to sharpen psychic powers. As a love charm, Elecampane leaves and flowers were sewn into a sachet and worn by one seeking a mate. Deeply revered by ancient Romans, the botanical name derives from Helen of Troy who, according to stories, was holding elecampane in her hand as she set off to Troy. Beyond being a favorite herb of early physicians Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides, this magical herb is said to be a favorite plant of the Elves and also used against Elvin magic. Poking the root with something sharp renders an Elf spell null and void. Inula helenium was also worked with to attract faeries.