He also lists Elecampane as a warming expectorant that is pungent, bitter, and warm; and expectorant, stomachic, and antiemetic. "The flowers are used be the Chinese to lower the chi, bring up and dissolve phlegm, stop coughs, wheezing, hiccoughs, nausea, and vomiting. Both the flowers and the roots are good for weakness of digestion with damp accumulation (damp sleen), bloating abdomen, and gas."
Because Elecampane is sweet, pungent (aromatic), and bitter, it is ideal for many conditions that are characterized by weakness and dampness. It is a potent herb for respiratory infections, and is systemically antiviral. The most potent form is fresh root, including tincture made from the fresh roots. It is also good as decoction (as well as infusion, depending on the use), though the dried material will relatively quickly lose its aromatic properties. It has been considered something of a replacement for the important herb in Chinese medicine known as Cang Zhu (American Dragon monograph).
In Western Herbs According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Thomas Garran has it in "herbs that supplement" as bitter, acrid, and warm; entering the spleen, stomach, and lung channels; and with the properties anthelmintic, diuretic, diaphoretic, and expectorant. He explains the functions and indications under the headings "supplements qi and resolves dampness", "transforms phlegm", and "aromatically transforms dampness". Under the latter he explains: "Elecampane is effective for damp accumulation in the middle burner. With aroma, bitterness, and acridity, Elecampane transforms dampness and revives the spleen. Furthermore, its nature causes stomach qi to descend, thus harmonizing the middle burner. This action is very similar to that of Atractylodes (Cang Zhu), and Elecampane can be used as a replacement for that herb."
Additional Cang Zhu monographs: