The roots of this plant – also known as horse-heal (and officially Inula helenium) – can be distilled to produce an essential oil, with a minty, violet-like scent. (Over the centuries, it’s also been valued as a medicinal and was actually recommended by the famous herbalist John Gerard;  elecampane has been prescribed for shortness of breath and water retention.)  The dried roots also make their way into pot pourri.

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