This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Inula. - Synonym. - Elecampane. The root of Inula Helenium Linne (nat. ord. Compositae).
Central and Southern Europe, and eastward to central Asia; spontaneously in the United States; cultivated.
In traverse, concave slices or longitudinal sections, with overlapping bark, externally wrinkled and brown; flexible in damp weather; when dry, breaking with a short fracture; internally grayish, fleshy, slightly radiate, and dotted with numerous shining, yellowish-brown resin cells; free from starch; odor peculiar, aromatic; taste bitter and pungent.
The chief constituents are - (1) Inulin, 3C12H20O10+ H2O, sometimes called A/antin, which is found in 19 to 44 per cent., according to the season; (2) Alantic Acid, C15H20O2; (3) Helenin, C6H8O. (4) A volatile oil, consisting of alantic anhydride, and alantol or alant camphor.
Dose, 1/4 to 1 dr.; 1. to 4. gm.
It is chiefly used in diseases of the lungs, especially when complicated with general debility. Recently, some laboratory experiments have suggested that helenin may be of value in the treatment of tuberculosis, since it is believed to be a bactericide.