The root of Inula


Characters. - In transverse concave slices or longitudinal sections, with overlapping bark, externally wrinkled and brown; flexible in damp weather; when dry, breaking with a short fracture; internally greyish, fleshy, slightly radiate and dotted with numerous shining, yellowish-brown resin-cells; odour peculiar, aromatic; taste bitter and pungent.

Composition. - It contains a substance closely allied to starch - inulin - a bitter neutral principle - helenin - and a little volatile oil.

Administration. - The powder may be given in doses of 20-60 gr. It may be given as a decoction made by boiling 1/2 oz. of the root in a pint of water. The dose of this is 1-2 fl. oz.

Uses. - It is used chiefly as a domestic remedy in amenorrhoea, chronic bronchitis, and skin diseases. Helenin has been said to be peculiarly destructive to the tubercle bacillus. If this statement be substantiated, inula may be useful in phthisis.