a bumblebee feeding on an Elecampane, also called Horse-heal (Inula helenium), a perennial composite plant common in many parts of Great Britain, and ranges throughout central and Southern Europe, and in Asia as far eastwards as the Himalayas.
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It is a rather rigid herb, the stem of which attains a height of from 3 to 5 feet; the leaves are large and toothed, the lower ones stalked, the rest embracing the stem; the flowers are yellow, 2 inches broad, and have many rays, each three-notched at the extremity. The root is thick, branching and mucilaginous, and has a warm, bitter taste and a camphoraceous odor with sweet floral (similar to violet) undertones.
In France and Switzerland it is used in the manufacture of absinthe.
Elecampane is recommended for “the shortness of breath”; today herbalists prescribe it as an expectorant and for water retention; it also is claimed to have antiseptic properties. It has minor applications as a tonic and to bring on menstruation.[
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