Scientific Name: asteracae Inulae Inula Helenium
Common Names: Horse heal, Elfdock, Marchalan
Growth Habit: Rosette to flowering stalk
Height: 4-5 feet
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Permaculture Designation: Flowering Beneficial, Medicinal
I’ve got some elecampane started in the front yard. It’s been a slow grower, but I’ve got 3 plants that seem well established. This plant was featured in one of Jack Spirko’s survival podcast as one of 10 essential herbal medicinals.
Elecampane is touted for it’s use in treating chest ailments including bronchitis. Losenges and small candies can be made from 2-3 year old roots. It shoots a flowering stalk with a double sunflower head (thus the Aster family).
I started mine from seed, and it seemed like a fairly easy germinator. Can also be propagated from root cuttings, much like comfrey. A two inch segment with an eye is sowed in the fall.
Roots can be candied and used as lozenges. Can also be used in a alcohol infusion, with one recipe calling for white port, sugar and currants to make a cordial. You can also steep bits of root in honey for a honey infusion. (The honey is then taken for the remedy)
Links to sites consulted:
The best information on medicinal uses and preparation came from the botanical.com