Elecampane seed Inula helenium
Soaring like a skyscraper to heights of 2-3m (7-10ft), this hardy perennial makes an impressive statement in the garden. Topped with dark yellow flowers throughout summer, the whole plant seems to follow the sun like a modern-day sun worshiper. It is a tough garden plant and easily withstands adverse conditions, though it prefers sunny, moist spots out of the wind. Since before Roman times elecampane has been used for , mainly for its expectorant and carminative qualities. In the Middle Ages, apothecaries sold the candied root as a soothing lozenge for asthma and indigestion. Today dried root preparations are used to quiet coughing, stimulate digestion, and soothe the stomach. Research indicates that elecampane is effective against methicillin-resistant stapylococcus aureus (MRSA). Flowers yield yellow and orange dyes.