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Elecampane is also called Horse-Heal or Elfdock, and is one of the largest herbaceous plants. Elecampane is a widespread plant species found in the sunflower family Asteraceae, which includes plants like Calendula, Chamomile, Dandelion and Yarrow. It is native to Europe, Western Asia and Northwestern India and is naturalized to Eastern North America.
In appearance Elecampane is reminiscent of a sunflower plant, with tall stalks, pale green foliage and bright yellow flowers with large seed heads in the centre. The flowers of Elecampane are much smaller than sunflowers, but it has enormous leaves that can grow to 2 feet in length.
The herb has been used since Roman times. The Apicius, a cookbook from the 1st century AD, describes it as a plant for testing whether honey is spoilt or not. The plant is immersed in the honey and then lit and if it burns brightly the honey is considered fine. In medieval Europe, the roots were candied and eaten as confectionary; and in France and Switzerland it has been used in the manufacture of absinthe.
In England, Elecampane was formerly in great repute as an aromatic tonic and stimulant of the secretory organs, which include the subcommissural organ (SCO), the pituitary gland, the median eminence and the pineal gland. Because the old Romans such as Pliny considered the Root to help with digestion, Elecampane ended up in many official pharmacopoeias for the treatment of coughs, consumption and other pulmonary complaints.
Elecampane has a sweet taste due to its high inulin content in the Root, which is widely found in the Roots of the Asteraceae but in good quantity in Elecampane. Inulin is a very nourishing polysaccharide, possibly assisting the pancreas and the restoration of an exhausted body through nourishment.
The taste and energetics of Elecampane are bitter, pungent and sweet with qualities that are warming, stimulating and drying. Elecampane has an affinity towards digestive system, respiratory system, urinary system, pelvis, uterus, brain, lymphatic system, nervous sytem and circulatory system. To support the respiratory system combine Elecampane with Yerba Sante, Coltsfoot, Marshmallow or Anise Seed. For a digestive tonic combine Elecampane with Burdock root, Chicory Root or Artichoke Leaf.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Elecampane Root to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for 15 to 30 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Cautions & contraindications:
It’s recommended to stop taking Elecampane at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery, involving the use of anesthesia. For this reason, Elecampane is also contraindicated for use with other sedative medications (such as Klonopin, Ativan, Donnatal, and Ambien) due to its ability to cause drowsiness.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.