Medicinal plants

Elecampane

Enula: general characteristics

Elecampane, also known as inula, is a plant belonging to the Astaraceae family. It seems that its name derives from the Greek word enaein, which means purify, and therefore refers to the phytotherapeutic properties of this herb. It is a herbaceous plant that can be perennial or biennial and annual depending on the species. Elecampane is a genus of plant very resistant even to adverse environmental conditions: for this reason it is possible to find this species both in humid and shady places and in arid ones. In our country there are fifteen species of elecampane, almost all concentrated in the Alps. The elecampane has a rigid stem that reaches 200 cm, the leaves can be basal and cauline, while the yellow flowers are concentrated in medium or large flower heads.


But what are the many vaunted beneficial virtues of elecampane? How does it affect our body, and what benefits does it bring? Among the fundamental properties of this plant we point out in the first place those that have to do with problems related to the oral cavity and the respiratory tract. Thanks to the antiseptic and tonic action, in fact, the elecampane can be used in the fight against common colds and other cold symptoms, but also to counteract cough, mucus and phlegm. It is also effective in the fight against light bronchitis. However, enola is mostly used and known for its digestive and choleretic virtues. Although there are not yet certain studies on this plant, it seems that inulin contrasts gastrointestinal disorders and fights meteorism.

Enula: method of use


What are the methods of use of the elecampane? What is the appropriate dosage? Elecampane is available for both external and internal use, and can be used in the form of decoction, tincture, powdered extracts and even herbal tea. The external use of the elecampane is reserved for the treatment of eczema and ulcers, through compresses of the plant. Internal use, on the other hand, concerns respiratory and digestive disorders. To prepare an infusion of elecampane you need about 15 grams of root, which must be left to macerate for three days in water. Take a maximum of 4 cups per day. The decoction is also prepared with 8, 10 grams of root in 250 deciliters of water, and should be taken twice a day. The powder should be taken in very small doses, maximum 4 mg.

Contraindications and side effects


Are there any contraindications to using elecampane? Are there any side effects, and if so what are they? As always in herbal medicine, plants must be used with caution and following the correct dosage. In the specific case of the elecampane, then, it is essential not to exceed the indicated doses. In fact, an abuse of the plant can cause even serious disorders such as cramps, diarrhea and even in extreme cases paresis. If you have taken in excessive doses of elecampane contact your doctor immediately. Furthermore, a substance contained in the elecampane called antilactone can cause dermatitis and skin and mucous membrane irritations. In any case, it is advisable to avoid the consumption of elecampane during pregnancy and breastfeeding, because it could be harmful to both the health of the mother and that of the baby.

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