Elecampane and Gotu Kola Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Nel Finberg
Posted on: July 29, 1999

I have some questions regarding two herbs, elecampane and gotu kola. How do I harvest elecampane root, since it is a perennial that does not seem to spread? Should gotu kola’s soil be kept wet or moist? Does gotu kola climb? Should I spray the plant regularly to keep the humidity high?

According to Deni Bown’s "Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses" (Richters catalogue #B2730) Elecampane roots are lifted in fall and distilled for oil, used fresh to make extracts and syrup or dried for decoctions, liquid extracts, powders and tinctures. Flower heads are picked when fully open, and dried whole for use in decoctions (prepared using a muslin bag to contain irritant fibers), infusions, and powders.

Gotu kola should be kept moist, but being wet for the occasional day is no problem in summer. Gotu kola does not climb, but it makes runners that could be trained to climb. Regular spraying is only required if the humidity is below about 40%.

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