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INULA HELENIUM. ELECAMPANE.

Class XIX. Syngenesia. Order II. Poltoamia Superflua.

Gen. Char. Receptacle naked. Down simple. Anthers ending in two bristles at the base.

Spe. Char. Leaves stem-clasping, ovate, wrinkled, tomentose underneath. Scales of the calyx ovate.

The root is perennial, large, thick, branched, externally brown or grey, internally whitish; the stalk is upright, strong, round, striated, branched, covered with soft hairs, and rises from three to four feet in height; the leaves are large, ovate, serrated, crowded with reticular veins, and supplied with a strong fleshy midrib; the pagina superior smooth, the inferior downy; the leaves placed upon the upper part of the stem are sessile, and surround the branches, those near the bottom stand upon footstalks; the flowers are large, yellow, and terminate the stem and branches; the calyx is composed of several rows of strong imbricated ovate segments; the corolla consists of numerous florets, which are of two kinds; those occupying the centre are of regular tubular form, divided at the brim into five small segments, and are hermaphrodite, each containing five short filaments, which have their anthers so united as to form a hollow cylinder, and a long germen, which supports a slender style, about the length of the tube, and furnished with a bifid stigma; the florets at the circumference are female, at the lower part tubular, but at the upper ligulated or strapshaped, and cut at the extremity into three narrow pointed teeth; the expel wind from the stomach and bowels, also for coughs, colds, consumption, shortness of breath, and obstructions of the lungs. Dose, from one to two tea-spoonsful twice a day.

The syrup of Elecampane is made from the dried root. Take of the root eight ounces, water one gallon; boil it down to three quarts, strain it off, and add when cold two pounds honey, one pint French brandy, half an ounce essence of wintergreen. Dose, half a wine-glassful two or three times a day. Used in dropsy, consumption, colds, coughs, bronchitis, catarrhs, obstructions, and most diseases where a diuretic is required.

The decoction or infusion in wine is made by taking two ounces of the dried root, cut in small slices, and added to one quart of good wine, which should stand a few days before using; a little loaf sugar may be added to prepare it for the palate. This preparation has been extensively used in France and England as a remedy for worms of all kinds, expelling them from the stomach and bowels. Dose, half a wine-glassful at a time.

The salts of Elecampane is procured from the whole plant, burnt to ashes while green. Taken internally it operates powerfully as a diuretic and as a purifier of the blood. A small quantity of the salts mixed with the juice of lemons, will usually check vomiting in most obstinate cases. Dose, from one scruple to half a drachm.

The root made into a powder, which is taken in doses of about one tea-spoonful at a time, is said to be good for wind, diarrhoea, weakness, &c.

Various other preparations are prepared from Elecampane, most of which have been considered highly useful for such diseases in which it has been so profusely administered. Indeed, such was the reputation of the virtues of this plant in former times, that it would be almost impossible to enumerate the different preparations prepared from the root and other parts of the plant, which were so peculiarly arranged as to be adapted to the cure of all the principal diseases which flesh is heir to.

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