A native of the Mediterranean area, Inula is an erect, bushy, aromatic annual herb with small yellow to yellow/white flowers that smell of camphor. D. graveolens is a nitrophilous (Thriving in a habitat rich in nitrogen) species; generally associated with disturbed, open (unshaded) habitats, such as cultivated land, abandoned fields, roadsides, ruderal places, overgrazed pastures and other open (cleared) habitats. D. graveolens is widespread in the Mediterranean region, extending marginally into the western Atlantic-European coast and Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, north-west India). It has naturalized in many temperate parts of the world, including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and California. It is also found in disturbed sites in England, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. It is considered to be an invasive weed.
The essential oil is known as the most effective oil for loosening mucous and deep congestion. It is also useful for acute and chronic respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, sinusitis, laryngitis and bronchitis.
Inula graveolens is widely used in aromatherapy for the treatment of asthma. It is reputed to have bronchospasmolytic and mucolytic activity.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, this oil would be indicated for access kapha, lethargy, and congestion.
Botanical family: Asteraceae
Common names: Stinkwort, Cape Khakiweed, stinkweed, camphor inula