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A perennial herb that contains inulin (a starch), mucilage, pectin, resin, sterols and volatile oil. It is analgesic, anthelmintic, antiemetic, antimicrobial, antitussive, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, laxative and sedative; it is used to treat gastrointestinal complaints and fluid retention.
In Western herbal medicine, the root and rhizome have been used to treat anaemia, asthma, dysmenorrhoea and lung infections, including bronchitis and tuberculosis.
A perennial herb (Inula helenium) in the aster family whose oils and ground roots are used in alternative medicine largely as an expectorant and diruretic. Oils from the herb have some antibacterial properties, but massaging with the oil can cause contact dermatitis.