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                                                  Brand name:                          Elecampane                                                   Latin name: Inula helenium                          Other names: Elfdock, Horse-Elder, Horseheal, Scabwort, Velvet Dock,                         Wild Sunflower                                                   A Remedy For                          Elecampane is sometimes prescribed for bronchitis and cough, but                         because it can be severely irritating and allergenic, its use is not                       recommended.                                                 The herb has a variety of other uses in folk medicine, although none has                                                 been scientifically validated. It is taken as a remedy for upset stomach,                                                 gas, gallbladder problems, water retention, and menstrual complaints. In                                                 Asian medicine it's also used for diarrhea, vomiting, and intestinal                                                   inflammation, and homeopathic practitioners recommend it for bronchial                       conditions.                                                   What It Is; Why It Works                          Elecampane has been known since the days of the Roman poet Horace.                         A perennial shrub some 21/2 to 6 feet high, it is native to the temperate                       regions of Europe and Asia, and can now be found in China and the United                         States as well. Its Latin name "Inula helenium" echoes the many legends                       that associate the plant with Helen of Troy. (Your choice: It either sprang                         from her tears, or she was holding a branch of it when Paris stole her                         away.)                                                 The active ingredients in Elecampane have shown an ability to reduce                                                 inflammation, kill bacteria and fungus, and loosen phlegm in the lungs.                                                   The portion of the plant used in remedies is the fleshy root, which has a                       strong odor and a pungent, bitter, tangy taste.                                                   Avoid If...                          No known medical conditions preclude the use of Elecampane.                                                   Special Cautions                          Use Elecampane with care, if at all. It is severely irritating to the lining of                       the nose, throat, stomach, and intestines, and frequently triggers an                         allergic reaction.                                                   Possible Drug Interactions                          No interactions have been reported.                                                 Special Information If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding                                                   No harmful effects are known.                                                   How To Prepare                          Elecampane can be made into a tea. Pour boiling water over 1 gram                         (about one-quarter teaspoonful) of the ground root, steep for 10 to 15                         minutes, then strain. If you wish, sweeten the tea with honey.                                                   Typical Dosage                          To loosen phlegm, drink 1 cup of the tea 3 to 4 times daily.                                                 Store in a cool, dark place. Do not use a plastic container.                                                   Overdosage                          Symptoms of overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, spasms, and signs of                       paralysis. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention                         immediately.