Elecampane – Inula helenium

Common names: Allecampane, July Campane, Elicompane, Dock, Sunflower, Wild Sunflower, Yellow Starwort, Elfdock, Elfwort, Horse Elder, Horse Heal, Scabwort

Family: Asteraceae

Energetics: Warming & drying

Key actions: Bitter, antiseptic, diaphoretic, expectorant, tonic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, anthelmintic

Combinations: Thyme, Elderflower, Licorice, Hyssop, Mullein

Long ago Elecampane roots were candied to help calm asthma, indigestion & Tuberculosis. Herbalists also candied Elecampane root for cough treatments, intestinal catarrhs, bronchitis & other respiratory complaints.

If you were not wowed about the roots magical powers for the respiratory system. Inula helenium was also used for chronic diarrhea. Used externally also in a decoction for scabies, herpes,acne, & other annoying skin conditions.

Elecampane grow very tall, with beautiful yellow flowers. I see a pattern in my garden, full of shades of yellows. My favourite color, I’m like a child surrounding myself with different colours of sunshine. I love it!

It is preferable a slow infusion. Honey, water or alcohol, are better choices rather than preparing a decoction like other roots such as Burdock or Dandelion root. A slow infusion helps to keep the essential oils within its medium.

If there is phlegm & mucus in your lungs, urinary or digestive system, this plant will help to clear out the bad as well as be beneficial to you by providing good bacteria (inulin) to your colon.

Elecampane can also help to remove intestinal parasites, & promote bile production with her bitter & aromatic actions.

I am always so amazed by all of the magic that is above & beneath the ground. Elecampane will always have a place in my garden, but in the back (remember she can get VERY tall!)


I want to show others that medicine is all around us. There are many common backyard plants that we can benefit from. Including what we use as a day to day culinary herb within our dishes can have a huge impact on our daily health. Being conscience of different common herbs that you might already have in your pantry & work with them to enhance your families health.


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