Lobelia Lobelia inflata

Lobelia inflata
Lobelia inflata
  • Common Names
  • Lobelia , Indian-Tobacco. Pukeweed. Asthma Weed.
  • Botanical Name
  • Lobelia inflata
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Lobelia

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden|

How to Use: Lobelia

Lobelia can help nicotine withdrawal

Lobelia acts as a relaxant in the presence of pain, and is useful in bronchitis and asthma as an expectorant and stimulant of the respiratory system. 1The herb contains an alkaloid, lobeline, that shares many properties with nicotine, which may be helpful in treating tobacco withdrawal symptoms. A decoction can also be applied externally to minor skin irritations, and to treat sprains, and bruising. 2

Native Americans smoked the leaves of lobelia, known to colonists as Indian Tobacco, to ease asthma. 2 Early American remedies called for a mix of three parts tincture of lobelia with one part tincture of capsicum (red pepper, cayenne pepper).

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Smoking, teas, decoctions, ointments

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Lobelia Remedies

Lobelia Side Effects: Because of its similarity to nicotine, lobelia may be dangerous to susceptible populations, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with cardiac disease. Excessive use will cause nausea and vomiting. Not recommended for use by pregnant women. 4

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Plant Description

  • Plant Class: Annual
  • Etymology: Lobelia genus was named for Matthias de l'Obel(1538- 1616), physician to James I of England
  • Flowers/Fruit/Seeds:small, inconspicuous, irregular. Corolla marcescent, about two lines long, pale blue externally, somewhat violet within. Followed by inflated, 2 valve capsules
  • Parts used: leaves
  • Leaves:Ovate, toothed
  • Flowering Season:July to October
  • Distribution: Indian Tobacco is common in dry open fields from Hudson's Bay westward to Saskatchewan and southward to Georgia and the Mississippi, where it flowers from July to October.

Regional Traditions :North America *

How to Grow Lobelia

Annual. Sun or part shade. Surface sow seeds and keep evenly moist.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Millspaugh, Charles F. "American Medicinal Plants" (1882) 57[161]
  2. Duke,James, Ph.D
  3. Mabey, Richard. "The New Age Herbalist",(1988)
  4. Mountain Rose Herbs