Latin name: Inula Helenium

Plant description: Man-high, strong plant with striking yellow flower heads and large, felt-hairy leaves. Flowering time: June to September. Origin: probably Central Asia. Cultivation: For medicinal purposes, cultivation in field crops.

Medicinally used plant parts

Rootstock of two to three year old plants, sliced and dried. Young leaves dried in the air.


Essential oil with alanka camphor, also called helenin and up to 50% inulin, a carbohydrate similar to fructose.

Healing effects and use of alant

Mucolytic, cough-reducing, slightly antispasmodic. Used for coughing to promote ejection. Because of the bitter substances (helenin) it is also used to treat lack of appetite, stomach problems and to promote the secretion of bile.

In paediatric medicine, elecampane was formerly used to treat intestinal parasites. Externally the drug is used to prepare gargles. Fresh alant-leaves, placed on wounds, are said to promote healing.

Preparation of elecampane

Pour 1⁄4 l of boiling water over 1 heaped teaspoon of crushed elecampane root and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Drink sip by sip sweetened with honey. Two to four times daily 1 cup. For gargling use this tea unsweetened.

Combination with other medicinal plants

As a cough tea, the alan root is more effective in combination with other medicinal plants: prepare 1 heaped teaspoon with 1⁄4 l cold water, heat slowly until boiling, strain. Sweetened with honey 2 – 4 times a cup daily. – Inula Helenium 20,0 g

  • Primrose root 5,0 g
  • Thyme 15,0 gand /or
  • Ribwort herb 10.0g.

Side effect

Overdoses lead to vomiting and stomach pain.