Elecampane (Inula helenium) is a member of the Aster plant family. Energetically, it's a warming and drying herb that combines bitter, pungent, and sweet tastes.
If I had to use only one word to describe this herb, it would be 'loosening' or 'decongesting' -- it will get stuck, congested systems/fluids moving. Let's look at what this means.
If you have a condition like bronchitis, you have a lot of mucus clogging your lungs. If your body is fighting off some kind of invader (aka pathogen), the dead cells from the fight (both pathogen and immune cells) get processed through the lymph nodes. If those nodes get clogged up, your lymph glands get swollen and painful. If your gut biome is unbalanced, your intestines may get clogged up (constipation). All of these are examples of body systems/fluids being stuck.
Now, let's make an analogy. Think about a time when perhaps the drain to your kitchen sink got clogged up. At first, you might have noticed the water was draining slower than usual, and eventually, it stopped draining altogether. When that happened, you were left with a sink full of dirty water. Clogged lungs or lymph nodes or intestines are like the stopped up sink. Too much 'debris' has accumulated in the 'pipes' of your body.
To unclog your sink, you might try pouring a liquid into the water to dissolve the blockage. If that doesn't work, you might call a plumber who will clear it. Once clear, the water flows easily through the drain. Similarly, to unclog your lungs or lymph or intestines, you might try drinking more water (or other liquids), you might try taking OTC medicines or go to the doctor for prescription medications. When you clear the 'debris', the affected body system starts to 'flow' normally again -- it reaches a point of balance or homeostasis.
Elecampane is an herb that can help clear the 'clogged drains' in your body, then help encourage the flow of healthy fluids like mucus. (Yes, we do need mucus, but it needs to be a healthy consistency and quantity.) Elecampane is especially good at helping to clear congestion in the respiratory system (especially lungs) with its antimicrobial properties. It's effect on the lymph system is not quite as strong, but it can still help to stimulate lymphatic circulation. In the digestive system, Elecampane acts as a prebiotic and can help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as reducing gas and supporting healthy elimination.
Elecampane is considered to be a very safe herb. As with any herb, if you are pregnant, check with your doctor before using it. If you are allergic to plants in the Aster family, it would be best to test a small amount on the inside of your wrist or elbow before using this herb.
The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.