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What are mushroom extracts? Fungi, including mushrooms, are peculiar forms of life. They pop up, seemingly overnight, out of nowhere. And unlike plants, they’re not green, they don’t have leaves or roots, and they never form flowers, fruits, or seeds. Many of the components that help mushrooms defen
Few people have ever heard of elecampane, yet as this herb proves itself powerful in healing more and more conditions, it’s just a matter of time until elecampane takes its rightful place in the spotlight. It is a striking plant, growing to four or five feet tall and sporting large yellow flowers that look like a cross between dandelion heads and sunflowers. As its Latin name suggests, it is a rich source of the compound known as inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic found in some plants that nourishes beneficial microbes in the intestines. Additionally, elecampane has many other uses, some of which include:
BREAST CANCER TUMOR TREATMENT
In a recent study published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists assessed the ability of hundreds of herbal extracts to prevent breast cancer tumors from growing. Elecampane root extract proved to be one of the most potent. It effectively stopped cancer cells from dividing, thereby inhibiting tumor growth.
NATIVE AMERICAN LUNG HEALER
Elecampane has been used by Native Americans for many years to clear out excess mucus that impairs lung function. It is known as a natural antibacterial agent for the lungs, particularly effective for people who are prone to infections like bronchitis. It can also help eliminate toxins from the lungs. Herbal practitioners often recommend one teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water, drunk three times daily for two to three weeks, or one dropperful of elecampane extract three times a day for the same period.
The inulin contained in elecampane is one of the favorite foods of probiotics, includingBifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Colonies of these beneficial bacteria in the gut help to stave off infections, prevent inflammation and encourage healthy bowels—a critical factor in the treatment of many health conditions.
The liver has over five hundred functions, one of which is to cleanse the blood of toxic compounds found in food or the environment. Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that compounds in elecampane boost the enzymes linked to this function.
In 1885, an herbal authority known as Korab showed that elecampane was especially effective in killing tuberculosis bacteria. He showed that only a few drops of one of its compounds added to water could kill bacteria. He was clearly onto something, since modern research published in the journal Planta Medica found that elecampane significantly inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis — the bacterium responsible for the serious and often deadly disease. This is good news considering that tuberculosis has made a recent comeback. Elecampane is also helpful in treating other respir atory disorders, including asthma, emphysema and whooping cough. It alleviates fever while battling infection and maximizing the excretion of toxins through perspiration. If you have a tickling cough or bronchitis, elecampane may help.
In addition to promoting the health of the respiratory tract, elecampane also helps a sluggish digestive system.
Use one teaspoon of herb per cup of water in an infusion or one half to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day. Alternatively use approximately 30 drops of tincture three times daily.
By Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: : Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.