Other Name(s):

Alant, Aster helenium, Aster officinalis, Aunée, Aunée Officinale, Elfdock, Elfwort, Enule Campagne, Grande Aunée, Helenio, Helenium grandiflorum, Horse-Elder, Horseheal, Indian Elecampane, Inula, Inula helenium, Inule Aulnée, Inule Aunée, Inule Hélénie, Œil-de-cheval, Scabwort, Velvet Dock, Wild Sunflower, Yellow Starwort.


Elecampane is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.

Elecampane is used for lung diseases including asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is also used to prevent coughing, especially coughing caused by tuberculosis; and as an expectorant to help loosen phlegm, so it can be coughed up more easily.

Other uses include improving stomach function; treating nausea and diarrhea; and killing worms that can live in the intestine. These worms include hookworm, roundworm, threadworm, and whipworm.

Some people use elecampane to promote sweating.

In foods and beverages, elecampane is used to provide flavor.

In other manufacturing processes, elecampane is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.

How does it work?

Elecampane contains chemicals that can kill worms that infest the gut.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Coughs.
  • Asthma.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Killing worms that live in the gut (hookworm, roundworm, threadworm, and whipworm).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of elecampane for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Elecampane is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in usual medicinal amounts. Elecampane is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in large amounts. Large amounts of elecampane can cause vomiting, diarrhea, spasms, and paralysis.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take elecampane if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Avoid use.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Elecampane may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking elecampane.

Diabetes: There is some concern that elecampane may interfere with blood sugar control. If you have diabetes and use elecampane, monitor your blood sugar carefully.

High blood pressure or low blood pressure: There is some concern that elecampane might interfere with blood pressure control. If you have blood pressure problems and use elecampane, monitor your blood pressure carefully.

Surgery: Elecampane affects the central nervous system and can cause sleepiness. There is a concern that it might cause too much sleepiness if combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using elecampane at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Sedative medications (CNS depressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Elecampane might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking elecampane along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.


The appropriate dose of elecampane depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for elecampane. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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