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Common Names: British elecampane, British yellowhead, and Meadow fleabane.Xuan Fu Hua
Inula britannica is a herbaceous perennial plant, It is erect, ranging from 6 to 30 inches tall (15 to 75 cm). The stems may be densely covered with appressed hairs or almost
hairless. Inula britannica reproduces by seed, short rhizomes, and root fragments. It is considered to be a biennial or perennial. A common configuration is to have a mother plant surrounded by 8 to 10 “satellite plants” connected by rhizomes.
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Flowers: Flower heads are yellow, daisylike, and occur alone or in clusters of two or three. Flower heads are medium to large, 0.8 to 1 inch (2 to 5 cm) across. The bracts are linear, in 2 rows, hardly overlapping, green and soft. The rays are long and narrow, usually twice as long as the surrounding bracts. Individual flowers are surrounded by a single pappus of capillary (extremely fine) hairs. They flower from July to August, but in greenhouses potentially all year. For correct identification, the features in bold must be examined.
Leaves: The leaves are sparsely pubescent (covered with hairs, especially soft downy hairs) on theupper surface and densely pubescent on the lower surface. Rarely the leaves are almost sericeous.
Succeeds in a sunny position in any moderately fertile well-drained soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. This sub-species is the form that is most used medicinally, it is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China.
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying a sowing in situ in the spring or the autumn. Division in spring or autumn[
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Leaves – cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when better foods are not available
Xuan Fu Hua is used in Chinese herbalism as a mildly warming expectorant remedy and it is especially suitable where phlegm has accumulated in the chest. The flowers are more commonly used, but the leaves are also used, generally for less serious conditions. The flowers are used internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints with profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant is harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the esophagus.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
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