Elecampane has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. A gently warming and tonic herb, it is especially effective in treating coughs, consumption, bronchitis and many other complaints of the chest as well as disorders of the digestive system[4, 9, 254]. A very safe herb to use, it is suitable for the old and the young and especially useful when the patient is debilitated[254]. It cleanses toxins from the body, stimulating the immune and digestive systems and treating bacterial and fungal infections[238]. The root is alterative, anthelmintic, antiseptic, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, mildly expectorant, gently stimulant, stomachic, tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 46. 165, 200, 218, 222]. It is best harvested in the autumn from plants that are two years old, and it can be dried for later use[4]. The roots should be at least 3 years old according to another report[7]. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. An extract of the plant is a powerful antiseptic and bactericide, particularly effective against the organism that causes TB[213, 238]. The root contains alantolactone, which is strongly anthelmintic. In a 1:1000 dilution it kills the parasitic worm Ascaris in 16 hours[218]. Alantolactone has an anti-inflammatory action, it also reduces mucous secretions and stimulates the immune system[254]. The plant is sometimes recommended as an external wash for skin inflammations and varicose ulcers, but has been known to cause allergic reactions[238].