Elecampane Herb – Uses And Side Effects


Elecampane enjoys roadside areas, and damp fields and pastures. Plant it in full sun in a damp, but not soggy, location. It is a perennial that grows 3 – 6 feet tall. The root is most commonly used. In France and Switzerland, elecampane root was used to prepare absinthe, a potent cordial popular at the turn of the century. In Europe and Asia, the herb has been used as a remedy for centuries.

Elecampane comes from the dried roots and rhizomes (underground stems) of 2- to 3-year-old Inula helenium plants. This perennial herb, native to the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa, has yellow flowers with large heads. Elecampane is a source of inulin (also known as fructosan), a carbohydrate-based fiber that is broken down and absorbed in the colon instead of in the upper digestive tract where most other foods are digested.

Common doses of elecampane

Elecampane comes as powdered root preparations, fluid extracts, and lotions. Some experts recommend the following doses:

  • As fresh root, 1 to 2 tablespoons taken orally three times daily.
  • As dried root, 2 to 3 grams taken orally three times daily.
  • As extract, 3 grams of dried root in 20 milliliters of alcohol and 10 milliliters water taken orally three times daily.
  • Experts disagree on what dose to take.

Use elecampane herb for common disorders

Traditionally, elecampane has been taken to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis because chemicals in it cause mucus to become thinner. However, it is also useful in following ailments:-

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cough
  • Fluid retention
  • Indigestion
  • Lung disease
  • Mycobacterium tuberculoses (a type of tuberculosis)
  • Snakebite
  • To stimulate the appetite

Side effects of elecampane

  • Call your health care practitioner if you experience a skin reaction after coming in contact with elecampane.


Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking.

Important points to remember

  • Watch for skin inflammation after contact with elecampane.
  • If you have allergies, wear long sleeves and gloves when handling the herb.

What the research shows

Researchers believe elecampane may have value as an expectorant, an antiseptic, and a mild digestive stimulant. However, well-designed human studies haven’t been done. The herb seems to be safe and well tolerated, but medical supervision is still recommended.

Other names for elecampane : –

Other names for elecampane include aunee, elf dock, elfwort, horseheal, scabwort, velvet dock, and wild sunflower.

No known products containing elecampane are available commercially.

Useful References

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