PACIFIC NORTHWEST GROWN. Elecampane (Inula helenium) Root, Cut and Sifted, Certified Organic
Common Names: Horse-heal, Alanroot, Elfdock, Scabwort, Wild Sunflower, Velvet Dock, Elfwort
Elecampane is a perennial plant that is native to England, but due to widespread cultivation is now naturalized throughout continental Europe, the eastern half of North America, and in temperate Asia as far south as southern Siberia and Northwest India. Elecampane prefers moist, sandy, loamy soil, and does well in partial or full shade. It may be found along roadsides, as well as wet rocky ground near eastern or southern slopes. It can also be found growing in fields, waysides, woodlands, and meadows.
Inula helenium typically grows 3 to 5 feet tall, with large, toothed leaves. While the entire plant is covered with soft hairs, the underside of the leaves are especially wooly, and often appear white. Elecampane's roots are very long, thick, and branching. They are mucilaginous, producing a thick, glue-like substance that may partly explain the herb’s usefulness for soothing sore throats and helping with coughs. 30% of the Elecampane plant is made of inulin, a prebiotic known as a healthy food for human gut flora.
Elecampane Root is most renowned as a powerful herb for acute and chronic lung conditions. Its properties include anthelmintic (dispelling parasites), antiseptic, antitussive (subduing the cough reflex), demulcent (relieving inflammation of the mucous membranes), diaphoretic (promoting sweat), expectorant, stomachic (promoting appetite and digestion), and tonic.
An extract of I. helenium was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA, and found to be 100% effective in fighting both antibiotic-resistant and -sensitive strains.
Elecampane is well known for its ability to improve inflammation. Because of this, I. helenium is useful in fighting and treating diseases where inflammation plays a part. Elecampane’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help with glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. The main component that helps with these conditions is a terpene called alantolactone.
Alantolactone, also found in Frankincense, has proven effective at killing both liver and cervical cancer cells. It does this by promoting apoptosis, allowing the body to kill cancerous cells, rather than letting them persist and accumulate. This substance is also active as an insect repellent, antibacterial, antidiuretic, analgesic, and anticancer agent.
I. Helenium’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help treat and prevent inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS). CNS inflammation can lead to various neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers, as well as a highly aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. Phenolic compounds in I. helenium have been found to protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
Elecampane’s ability to quell inflammation can help prevent acute systemic inflammatory response, which may lead to multiple organ failure and death, especially in people with compromised immune systems. This is especially good news given the rise of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microbes!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.