Project Description

Inula helenium

Another great herb for soothing cough symptoms, named after Helen of Troy (stories say flowers came up where her tears fell), also called Elfwort.

From the sunflower family, the part used for medicine are the roots.

Actions of this herb are expectorant (a medicine that promotes the secretion of mucus from the lungs, used to treat coughs. It alters the production and viscosity of mucus and well as improving the cough reflex).

Bronchospasmolytic actions will relax muscles in the chest

Diaphoretic so helps perspire toxins.


Spasmolytic (of a drug or treatment) able to relieve spasm of smooth muscle).

Helpful for supporting treatment with colds, flues, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, pertussis (whooping cough), general coughs, excess catarrh and emphysema.

Studies show elecampane can prevent staphylococcal infection and carriage. This research supports other studies wherein herbal plants exhibiting medicinal properties are being examined to overcome the problems of antibiotic resistance and to offer alternatives in the treatment and control of infectious diseases.(1)

Another study showed relaxant effects on the tracheal smooth muscle of volatile plant oils, the most potent were angelica root, clove, elecampane root, basil and balm leaves oil (2)

Classic herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, used it to “warm a cold and windy stomach, to resist poison, to strengthen sight, and to clear internal blockages”(3)

References on my website:

  1. O’Shea S, Lucey B, Cotter L. In vitro activity of Inula helenium against clinical Staphylococcus aureus strains including MRSA. Br J Biomed Sci. 2009;66(4):186–189. doi:10.1080/09674845.2009.11730271
  2. Reiter M, Brandt W. Relaxant effects on tracheal and ileal smooth muscles of the guinea pig. Arzneimittelforschung. 1985;35(1A):408–414.
  3. Culpeper, Nicholas (1814). Culpeper’s Complete Herbal. No. 8, White’s Row, Spitalfields: Richard Evans. p. 70.