Active Ingredients. - The thick and substantial root, when dried and sliced, has an agreeable and camphoraceous odor, and an aromatic, rather bitter, and slightly pungent taste. It contains a neutral crystalline principle, insoluble in water, somewhat resembling camphor, and called helenine, C21H18O3; also a peculiar kind of starch, called inu-line,C6H10O6; bitter extractive, soluble in water; an acrid resin,gum, lig-nin, albumen, and salts of potash, lime and magnesia.

Physiological Action. - Elecampane acts as a gentle stimulant to the organs of secretion, and is said to be expectorant, diaphoretic, and diuretic. Large doses cause nausea and vomiting.

Therapeutic Action. - In pulmonary affections, such as catarrh, when accompanied by profuse secretion, but without concomitant febrile disorder, elecampane is considered decidedly efficacious. It is also administered with benefit in dyspepsia, when attended by relaxation and debility; and is found useful in exanthematous cases, on account of its promoting the eruption.

Formerly, elecampane was supposed to possess emmenagogue properties, and with this no doubt is connected the origin of the classical name.

Preparations And Dose. - Non-officinal. It is usually given in the form of decoction containing one or two drachms of the root.