Elecampane/ is a member of the sunflower family that is also known by several other common names, including yellow starwort, wild sunflower, scabwort, and horseheal. It stands apart from other plants typically found in damp meadows and fields because it bears bright yellow flowers that resemble petite sunflowers and can reach an impressive six feet in height.
The herb is harvested for its tuberous root and secondary shoots, which are yellow on the surface but white on the inside. The fresh root also has an aroma similar to violet flowers, although this characteristic fades as the root is dried.
Elecampane root is abundant in sesquiterpene lactones, most notably an anti-inflammatory compound called alantolactone. The root also contains up to 44% inulin, a natural fiber used as a food additive and dietary supplement.