Originally from Asia, the Elecampane (or great elecampane) is a herbaceous perennial of the “Inula” type , belonging to the family Asteraceae. Very well known for its healing properties ,
this plant would have been regularly subjected to therapeutic indications by Hippocrates (460 BC JC -370 av. JC ).
As early as the Middle Ages, it was part of the medicinal gardens of the monasteries.
There are about a hundred species of Elecampane, the main ones of which are perennial. Biennial and annual, the Elecampane (or Elecampane officinale) generally grows in the edges of woods, ditches and fresh roadsides of the temperate regions d’ Africa , d’ Europe and Asia .
Elecampane or Inula Helenium: a little history
By its etymological definition, the word “inula” comes from the Greek “ineo” which means “I purge”.
As for the name Hélenuim, the Greek mythology tells that, the elecampane was born from a tear of Helen (daughter of Zeus and Leda) whose kidnapping by the prince Paris, caused the war of Troie.
D Other legends tell that the beautiful “Helen” held a branch of Grande Elecampane in his hand at the time of his abduction.
It is thus a deformation of the name Héllena which gave birth to the name of the plant inula hellenium (or Elecampane).
According to Christian beliefs, on the other hand, because of its healing powers the Elecampane is, synonymous with healing of sins, hence the phrase, ” Inula resists poison, lightens the sick chest and gives joy and pleasure to the heart. He who loves the word of God and his church, let him pass through the valley of life’s sighs without difficulty. ».
Today, this plant is used at purposes medicinal and culinary .
Elecampane: description, species and names
The family of Asteraceae is composed of more than 13,000 species.
About a hundred species (including about ten in France), elecampane is grown industrially in fields.
It is characterized by large sheets ovals, rough with a fluffy underside and stems up to 2 m high .
Its flowers coloured yellow s, are similar to those of the dandelion and can measure 80 cm.
The appellations of this perennial plant sometimes forming large clumps, are various and various : bedsore plant, enule-campagne, horse eye, elecampane inule, lioness, Chiron’s panacea, perennial sun … the list is long.
Therapeutic virtues of elecampane
Expectorant, tonic, emmenagogue, diuretic, cholagogue, stomachic …the praise for the elecampane is not waning!
Plant mysterious and above all remarkable for its medicinal virtues the use of elecampane (or native cinchona) is indicated for the regulation of anemias caused by heavy menstrual bleeding .
Rich in inulin Chiron’s elecampane, Chiron’s elecampane or panacea, would be useful for the treatment of diabetes .
A calming antiseptic, this plant has been used to treat diseases of airway (pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, cough, tracheitis, bronchitis…), the dermatoses bedsores, sores, ulcers, itching.
Other illnesses, disorders and ailments such as nephrites (inflammation of a kidney), absence of menstruation, white discharge, the drop s, the intestinal parasites the diarrhoea were also relieved thanks to this precious plant.
In phytotherapy the elecampane is also indicated in case of general tiredness and, its attributes are multiple. It’s a:
– deworming to destroy and expel intestinal worms or parasites;
– emmenagogue to stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvic area
– antiviral to slow or stop a viral infection
– choleretics to facilitate the secretion of bile
– antifungal to cure fungal infections – anticancer drugs
– respiratory antispasmodic
Culinary virtues of elecampane
For centuries, the action of Elecampane has been attested to by the herbalists and today by the medicine (e.g. for cancer treatment). However, it is not limited to this.
Today, his culinary virtues are known and strong appreciated .
Indeed, the root (or rhizome) of the horse’s eye is consumable in decoction .
For perfume desserts, cakes, fruit salad or even liqueurs for example, the aroma of the grated elecampane is much appreciated.
A priori, in order to promote the digestion it is advisable to cut the roots of the elecampane in pieces and, to confit them in a sugar syrup .
To better enjoy your dishes you can also garnish them with flowers yellow of this precious plant or, cook its sheets and consume them at will.
Elecampane: use and dosage
To fight against dermatitis, pruritus, it’s a external application of the elecampane that is indicated.
To do this, in a litre of water, pour 30 g of dried roots and let them macerate. Then dip a compress in this decoction and then clean the affected area. Repeat 2 to 3 times a day.
To make one infusion If you have not already done so, prepare 50 g per litre of cold water. Then boil it. Put the plant in the boiling water and let it rest for an hour at ¼. You can drink 2 to 6 cups a day.
In decoction Prepare 10 to 20 g per litre of water. Drink 1 cup before each meal.
In fluid extract A quantity of 5 to 10 g per day is recommended.
One time dried and reduced in powder The rhizome can thus be consumed as is in a liquid: a dose of 2 to 10 g per day is sufficient.
In stain A dose of 15 to 20 drops, 4 to 5 times a day is recommended.
Because it stimulates uterine contractions Elecampane is indicated step at the birthing mother or breastfeeding.
Elecampane is not a dangerous plant if the recommended dose is respected.
Otherwise, it can cause contact allergies s, of the cramps s, of the dermatitis allergies, paralysis, of diarrhoea or emesis .