(Herbs Knowledge) Lobelia

| September 11, 2012 | 0 Comments | 29 views

Lobelia Scientific Names and Common Names,Lobelia Biochemical Information,Uses,Warning,Where Found,Parts Usually Used,Lobelia Description of Plant(s) and Culture,Medicinal Properties.

(Herbs Knowledge) Lobelia


Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties | Biochemical Information
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | How Sold | Warning | Resource Links | Bibliography

Scientific Names


Lobelia inflata L.LobeliaceaeBluebell family

Common Names

Asthma weed
Emetic herb
Emetic weed
Indian tobacco
Lobelia herb
Pan-pien-lien (Chinese name)
Puke weed
Rag root
Vomit root
Vomit wort
Wild tobacco
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Parts Usually Used

Seeds, flowers, and leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Lobelia is an annual or biennial; the erect, angular stem, growing from 6 inches to 3 feet high, is hairy and contains a milky sap. The thin, light green leaves are alternate, hairy, ovate, and bluntly serrate. Numerous small, two-lipped, pale-blue flowers grow in spike-like racemes, to 1/4 inch; from July to November. The fruit is a two-celled capsule filled with small, brown seeds.

Other varieties: Great lobelia (L. siphilitica) (potentially poisonous); Cardinal flower (L. cardinalis); and Pale-spike lobelia (L. spicata).
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Where Found

Found in fields, pastures, meadows, and cultivated fields of the eastern United States, as far west as Arkansas and Nebraska. Related species are found in other parts of the country.
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Medicinal Properties

Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, nervine, stimulant, sedative
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Biochemical Information

Alkaloids, chelidonic acid, isolobeline, lobelic acid, lobeline, selenium, and sulfur.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Lobelia is used in commercial smoking preparations to counteract the desire for tobacco.

The Shoshone Indians used lobelia as an emetic and a laxative.
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In the past, lobelia was used particularly for its antispasmodic qualities to treat asthma and whooping cough, and also to induce vomiting. Externally, the plant can be made into a poultice for bruises, insect bites, worms, croup, epilepsy, sprains, felons, ringworm, erysipelas, and poison ivy irritation. Lobelia is a cough suppressant and relaxant that reduces fever and cold symptoms. Beneficial in the treatment of sore throats, laryngitis, colic, bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis, pleurisy, tetanus, chorea, convulsions, angina pectoris (chest pains), and epilepsy. Aids in hormone production.
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How Sold

Lobeline, one of 14 alkaloids in lobelia, is used in commercial “quit-smoking” lozenges and chewing gum. (Said to appease physical need for nicotine without addictive effects.)
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Although some herbal practitioners have sworn by lobelia as a harmless but effective panacea for what ails man, overdoses of homemade medicinal preparations have resulted in poisoning.

Care should be taken to follow directions in formula or recipe given for medicinal purposes.

Considered toxic, due to its strong emetic, expectorant, and sedative effects. This plant has been, rightly or wrongly, implicated in deaths from improper use as a home remedy.

Use professionally prepared medications under medical supervision only.
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Resource Links

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, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

, by Edith Van Allen Murphey, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1958, print 1990

, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, 1984

, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

, edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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