Elecampane, Julie’s (Organic)
Inula helenium. Perennial in zones 3-9.
One of the most highly regarded herbs of the Western herbal tradition and a very important part of the Pacific Northwest apothecary. The root is used for many ailments, especially respiratory issues including bronchial infections and chronic cough. We love having it in the garden because it is easy to grow and is a tough perennial that can become very large after a few years. The root is harvested in the fall of the second year. Mentioned by Pliny the Elder, and named after Helen of Troy, it is said to have sprouted up from where her tears fell. Also revered as a sacred herb by the ancient Celts, who called it elfwort. An Irish study has found extracts of elecampane to be effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and to generally be highly antimicrobial. We have named this strain after our late friend Julie Mallalieu, who sadly passed away in 2012. She was a wonderful organizer of the Eugene Propagation Fair and other seed swaps in the area, and she gave this seed to us a few years before she passed. We miss her.