Elecampane grows in the meadows and along the road sides of our Ontario woodlands. Look for them along the John Counter Blvd. The plant at first glance looks like a sunchoke. Elecampane has a similar daisy like flower disk that spands 3-5inch across. With its stout and erect stem, the flowers appear in the mid of summer. The plant can reach as high as 10 feet. The leaves are large and oval shaped like a lung, with softly pointed tips up to 28 inches long, and when you look closely the leaves clutch the stalk. This is the best way to identify her.
Peter Holmes in the Energetic of Western Herbs speaks of Elecampane with its' bitter pungent properties as alterative, (blood clearing) with excellent expectorant properties and strengthening for the immune and digestive system. Elecampane's medicine has always been touted for the respiratory system for bronchitis, asthmatic conditions and irritant coughs. The roots high Inulin content makes elecampane a wonderful medicine for spleen deficient, digestive imbalances where cold presides, with excess mucous; with bloating indigestion, lethargy and as the Chinese may say a “cluttered mind.” Elecampane’s immuno-modulating properties helps to regulate those with hypoglycemia- not unlike Elecampane ‘s companion plant, great burdock. They both belong to the Asteraceae family.
Elecampane ‘s root historically was enjoyed candied or drank as a cordial and the constituent is an ingredient in Absinthe. Harvest cut chop the root and soak it in honey for an excellent digestive and cough remedy. We will make these when we go for on our Annual walk this year as well as gather White pines for vinegar & Rosehips.
Please join us Saturday the 29th of October – 10 to 1 pm for our Annual Herbal Walk. See below for details.
Stay warm, dharani