Of the Real elephant belongs to the genus of the Alante. It has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times.
The elephant is an herbaceous perennial plant that can reach a maximum height of two meters. A striking feature of the medicinal herb is its yellow flower heads. As Real elephant (Inula helenium) is a plant from the genus of the Alante (Inula), to which about one hundred species belong. It is part of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Already in ancient times the elephant was used as a herb for the kitchen and as a medicinal plant. The herb is also under the name in Germany Breast alant, Snake herb, Odin's head , Helenenwurz, Old herb, Edelwurz or Intestinal herb known.
The elephant is an herbaceous perennial plant that can reach a maximum height of two meters. A striking feature of the medicinal herb is its yellow flower heads. The leaves are up to 50 centimeters long. They have felt hair on their lower side. The aromatic scent of the strong rootstock is also typical of the alant.
The elephant originates in Central Asia and Asia Minor. Today it is also grown in European regions such as Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the Balkans. The medicinal plant thrives best in places that are half-shaded and moist. The flowering time of the alant is between June and September.
The alant contains ingredients such as inulin, alant camphor, alant acid, helenine, alantolactone and essential oils. The helenin is primarily responsible for the healing effects of the plant. By mixing the ingredients, the plant has a positive effect on bronchial catarrh or loss of appetite.
The alant can be presented in different ways. In most cases it is used in the form of tea. To prepare it, a teaspoon with alant root is poured over a cup of hot, boiled water. The tea brewing time is ten minutes. After drawing, the user strains the tea and drinks it in small sips. The recommended dose is one to three cups a day.
If the intake lasts longer than six weeks, you should take a break from the alant tea to prevent undesirable long-term effects. After the break, the tea can be taken again for six weeks. The alant is also ideal for mixed teas. So it can be taken together with lungwort, licorice roots and ribwort leaves for cough problems.
Another tried and tested form of administration is tincture. You can also make it yourself by filling the alantine roots into a screw-top jar and pouring alcohol or double grain over them. Then this mixture is sealed so that it can draw for one to six weeks. After straining, the user fills the contents of the glass into a dark bottle. From the finished tincture, 10 to 50 drops can be administered per day. If the concentration is too high, it can be diluted with water.
In the Middle Ages, alant wine was also often used as a remedy. To make this, you need 50 grams of elephant roots for one liter of wine. The manufacturer fills this into a screw cap glass and pours white wine over it. After decanting into a dark bottle, one to three shot glasses can be taken a day.
An alantal ointment is suitable for external use. They are made in the traditional way from fresh elephant roots and lard. The first step is to trim and cook the alant roots. These are crushed until a pulp is formed. Then the porridge is mixed with the lard.
The manufacturer then strains the mixture through a cloth. Finally, the ointment is poured into a crucible where it cools down. Other external uses are poultices with almond tea, washing and the application of the leaves on chronic skin inflammations or wounds.
Already in ancient times and in the Middle Ages, people appreciated the therapeutic properties of alant. At that time it was used to treat lung diseases or scabies. The medicinal plant should also protect against the plague. Nowadays, however, the elephant is rarely used.
Alant tea works well for combating respiratory illnesses that accompany coughing. These include acute or chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, tuberculosis and pneumonia. It is recommended to use the Alant in conjunction with conventional medical therapy measures. The medicinal plant makes it easier to cough up the phlegm, reduces cramps and counteracts the urge to cough. In addition, the alant has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, which also has a positive effect on respiratory diseases.
Treatment with the elephant can also be helpful for diseases of the digestive organs. It is used for flatulence, stomach problems, intestinal inflammation, diarrhea or biliary problems. In contrast to earlier times, however, the treatment of coughing complaints is now the focus.
Other internal areas of application are shortness of breath, angina, tonsillitis, loss of appetite, anemia, chest pain, urinary retention, cramps and pleurisy.
Externally, the elephant can be used to treat various inflammations of the skin. These can be ulcers, eczema, itching or poorly healing wounds.
A disadvantage of the alant is the possible occurrence of side effects. When used internally, diarrhea and vomiting, symptoms of paralysis, and cramps are all possible. External use can cause irritation of the mucous membranes. Some people are also prone to allergic reactions. In the event of an overdose, gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea can be expected.