If you’re like me, being in the presence of elecampane (Inula helenium) helps you to feel radiant and lifts your spirit. Many people report feeling this way when these flowers are around.
This is one reason why Elecampane has been studied for use with depression. It’s been shown to lift moods and reduce feelings of negativity. It’s classed as an “amphoteric nervine” meaning if you’re feeling down it can help lift you up, while also helping to calm you down if you’re anxious. It has a normalizing effect on the nerves. Plants are special this way – they can help bring balance back, knowing what we need and offering it to us.
Additionally, it’s an anti-inflammatory herb, helping with tension headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, and pain.
It’s a lung tonic, meaning it helps fight infections like bronchitis, colds, flus, and chickenpox. It will also assist with breathing conditions like asthma and emphysema; conditions with thick secretions/phlegm. In Chinese medicine, the lung and large intestine share an intimate connection, so it isn’t surprising to learn that elecampane will also help with constipation – it’s warming & stimulating/moving in nature. Also in TCM, the lung opens into the nose – Elecampane helps with post-nasal drip & loss of smell (anosmia).
This flower is in the same family as dandelions and sunflowers (Asteraceae), and can grow up to 8 feet tall. It’s name comes from ancient Greek Mythology relating to a tale of how this plant sprouted up from the tears cast by Helen of Troy upon her abduction from Sparta by Paris. Druid traditions (personal ancestral connection) use Elecampane to bless newborn babies, helping to welcome them to this plane & protect them from psychic attack.
Elecampane flowers are in full bloom now (July/Aug), so it’s a perfect time to head out for a walk and spot them. One can enjoy the mood benefits simply by walking amongst them. So watch for these beautiful, tall yellow beings.