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    • Kami McBride

      Columnist
    • December 9, 2013 in Columnists

    Elecampane — an amazing herb for colds and coughs

    Elecampane isn’t a well known winter health herb like Echinacea or ginger but it should be! This herb is AMAZING! The old herb books talk about using this root for serious lung diseases like TB, silicosis and emphysema. It is one of the main herbs I rely on for respiratory problems where there is excess phlegm.

    If you are one of these people that catch a cold, fill up with mucus that drains into your lungs and then next thing you know you have a bronchial infection, well I highly suggest getting to know elecampane.

    The part of the plant you use is the root. You can purchase it already dried and use it for teas and to make syrup. Make some syrup at the beginning of cold and flu season, it will last in the refrigerator for about a month and I guarantee there will be someone you know that will need it.

    ElecampaneAs soon as something starts to settle into the lungs take 5 tablespoons of the warmed syrup a day or purchase some elecampane tincture and take 30 drops of tincture every three hours.

    Elecampane is a warming herbal tonic for the lungs. It strengthens the lung tissue and helps the lungs to absorb fluid and mucus from inflammation and stagnation. Elecampane also has demulcent properties and it helps to soothe and heal the bronchial lining.

    This wonderful healing root also is an expectorant, helping the body to rid itself of excess mucus. It is anti-bacterial and helps to fight off any infection. Use it when anything starts to creep past your throat. If you are wheezing, coughing, have a cold with lots of mucus, take your elecampane!

    My favorite way to take elecampane is in tincture form. Below I have listed a good resource for the tincture. I take 30 drops every three hours

    I also love making elecampane syrup. You can take 5 tablespoons a day for up to one month.

    Elecampane Syrup

    Ingredients
    4 cups water
    4 tablespoons dried elecampane root
    2 cups honey
    Sterilized glass jar
    Funnel
    Muslin

    Directions:
    Put water and roots into a sauce pan

    Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to lowest simmer

    Simmer on low until the contents of the pan is down to 1/2 of the original volume that you started with. You can eyeball it, as the herbs leave a ring around the inside edge of the pot as they are being cooked down.

    When you have cooked things down to about 2 cups, remove from heat

    Put a funnel lined with cotton muslin into the top opening of a sterilized glass jar

    Pour the contents of the pan through the muslin and funnel into the jar. The muslin will catch the herb and only the liquid will end up in the jar. Make sure to not let any herb into the jar. If roots spill into the jar, you have to start over.

    Add honey to liquid and shake until honey is mixed in

    You now have an elecampane syrup. This syrup will last about a month in the refrigerator.

    To order elecampane tincture:

    http://www.livingawareness.com/AffHerbProductsList.aspx?hAffCategory=3&page=3&all=0

    To order elecampane dried roots:

    http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkherb/bulkherb.html

    To learn more about how to make herbal syrups check out my book:

    Herbal Beginnings:



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