ELECAMPANE INULA HELENIUM ANCIENT HERB NAMED FOR HELEN OF TROY ELFWORT SEEDS $2.10

AN ANCIENT HERB – ELACAMPANE WAS SACRED TO THE ANCIENT CELTS, NAMED FOR HELEN OF TROY, IT IS SAID TO HAVE SPRUNG UP WHERE HER TEARS FELL, A RELATIVE OF THE SUNFLOWER, SACRED TO THE FAIRY FOLK, IT’S NOT ONLY BEAUTIFUL BUT IT ALSO IS A USEFUL PLANT.

Elecampane (Inula helenium), also called horse-heal or elfdock, is a widespread plant species in the sunflower family Asteraceae. It is native to Eurasia from Spain to Xinjiang Province in western China, and naturalized in parts of North America.

The plant’s specific name, helenium, derives from Helen of Troy; elecampane is said to have sprung up from where her tears fell. It was sacred to the ancient Celts, and once had the name “elfwort”. The plant traditionally was held to be associated with the elves and fairy folk.

Nicholas Culpeper considered elecampane to be ruled by Mercury and used it to warm a cold and windy stomach, to resist poison, to strengthen sight, and to clear internal blockages.

In France and Switzerland it has been used in the manufacture of absinthe. In Apicius it is used for testing whether honey is spoilt or not, the plant is immersed in the honey and then lit, if it burns brightly the honey is considered fine.

The root was employed by the ancients, mentioned in Pliny, Natural History 19.29 both as a medicine and as a condiment, and in England it was formerly in great repute as an aromatic tonic and stimulant of the secretory organs. It is mentioned in an 1817 New-England almanack as a cure for hydrophobia when the root is bruised and used with a strong decoction of milk. It is used in herbal medicine as an expectorant and for water retention.

It is a rich source of inulin and alonton. Traditional use in Europe of the root as a cooked vegetable and as a flavouring in liqueurs. The octopus like roots are bitter and antiseptic and utilised as a cough and lung remedy. Elecampane is also the source of a smoothing massage oil.

Always consult a medical practitioner before embarking on any program. The information on this page is not diagnostic, therefore always consult a herbal practitioner or your GP in order to obtain a diagnosis. Never stop taking prescribed treatment without consulting your GP or a qualified herbal practitioner. Do not take without qualified medical advice.

Grow Notes
Elecampane plant is a native of Europe and prefers moist, well drained soils in a protected, sunny position, may be grown in partial shade. Handsome, giant yellow flowers appearing in summer. Frost resistant but drought tender. Perennial, deciduous plant growing to 1.2m x 0.6 m.

Sow
Sow directly in Spring by gently pressing into soil, as light aids germination.

Keep soil moist but never wet.

Germination
14-21 days at 10- 20°C

Maturity
2 years.

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Seed Count: 20
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