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Natural source of Inulin - Horse-heal (Inula helenium L.)

Updated on January 15, 2012
Grown Horse Heal plant.
Grown Horse Heal plant. | Source

This plant, also called Elecampane grows in shady places around rivers and forests.

It is perennial plant, around 5 foot tall with slightly hairy stem and leaves. The roots are multiheaded and thick with tuber-like areas. The plant blooms between July and August with yellow blossoms.

Very good for:

  • Stopping cough with viral or bacterial origin (Bronchitis, common cold, Influenza, Tuberculosis)
  • Calming pain from gastritis or ulcer.
  • Calming pain from female period.
  • Calming pain from gallbladder spasm (gallbladder stones).
  • Calming itchy skin (hives, scabies) or painful sore hemorrhoids. (One tablespoon of the crushed root is soaked 1:10 in olive or sunflower oil for one week. The extract is then applied to the inflamed area.)

Other uses include rinsing the mouth with Horse-heal oil extract for tooth ache.

It was also used to feed the cattle for more milk and to protect the embryo from abortion or early delivery. (Hence the name - Horse-heal)

Gathering the useful part

Only underground part can be used. Roots and tubers are dug up in Spring (March) or mid Autumn (October). Only the young roots are extracted and enough is left for new plants to grow from.

The gathered roots are washed and sliced, then dried in shadow with temperature no more than 40 Celsius (104F). When dry, the root slices have brown skin and dry core with black dots. The smell is very pleasant, but the taste is very bitter.

Keep in paper bag, far from sunlight.

Decoction preparation

One tablespoon crushed roots are boiled for 10 minutes in half litre of water (about one pint).

Divide the herbal decoction for 3-4 takes per day, before meals.

Also - Alcohol extract is made with red wine and crushed roots. Take 100 grams finely crushed roots in a bottle of wine (1 liter). Shake few times every day for 1 week.

Take 1 coffee cup before meals. Rinse and then swallow.

It is also applicable for children with growing or falling teeth that tolerate small quantities of wine for rinsing. Let the kid take one tablespoon of the herbal wine and rinse the mouth with it before meals.


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    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      In Florida...many many herb and health stores.

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 6 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      anndavis25 thank you for your interest in herbs. I actually do have that.

      For the pussy pimples, you can apply pine tar mixed in butter or lard over the skin.

      There is a coctail of herbs that are taken for blood purifying, made from common Agrimony, viola and walnut leaves and Burdock root, but I think you can't find most of them in this season.

      I am curious - do you have good herbal stores in Florida?

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 6 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria


      Yes, the flowers are not having healing properties, although I've heard that some are used as a tea.

      They are not gathered as herb though. And are not that pretty to gather as a bouquet.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Amazing information ... Just wondering, and I bet you know what is useful for acne. I have a grandson turning 15 and he has been using different applications..

      As always, useful and interesting.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Thank you very much. This is a very interesting plant. Too bad you can only use the root parts...