This plant native to Asia and cultivated in many locales produces an essential oil that is strongly mucolytic. It is best dispensed from a diffuser for respiratory problems.
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Extraction: Distilled from the root, resulting in a rich blue-green oil. The odor is strong and pungent, somewhat resembling eucalyptus.
Medicinal Action: Sweet inula relieves muscle tension, inflammation, sinus congestion, bronchitis, and high blood pressure. It is best used in the treatment of chronic, rather than acute, lung problems. A compound is used in Europe for the treatment of intestinal worms.
Cosmetic/Skin Use: Relieves skin rashes, herpes and itching.
Considerations: High in potentially toxic ketones, so use only with supervision.
Inula (I. helenium) –This is the medicinal herb elecampane, commonly used for lung congestion. Because the essential oil was found to cause skin allergies in 23 out of 25 test subjects, we suggest using a tea or tincture of this herb instead.