Part Used: Dried herb & mature seed
Lobelia (Lobelia inflate) is named after the botanist Matthias de Lobel, a native of Lille, who died in London in 1616. It is an erect annual or biennial herb, 1 to 2 feet high; lower leaves and also flower are stalked, the latter being pale violet-blue in colour, tinted pale yellow within. This annual or biennial herb is indigenous to the eastern US and grows in meadows, pastures and cultivated fields. It is also called Indian tobacco which has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Native Americans historically have smoked Lobelia as a treatment for asthma. In the 19th century, American physicians prescribed Lobelia to induce vomiting in order remove toxins from the body.
Lobelia has been primarily used as an antispasmodic remedy in bronchitic asthma and bronchitis. In the past, it was also used to induce vomiting. The alkaloids have a paradoxical effect on the respiratory system - lobeline is a powerful respiratory stimulant whilst isolobelanine is an emetic and respiratory relaxant, stimulating catarrhal secretions and expectoration whilst relaxing the muscles of the respiratory system. At therapeutic levels, lobeline acts on the chemoreceptors of the glomus caroticus, causing reflex stimulation of the respiratory centre. Lobelia is one of the most useful systemic relaxants available. It has a general depressant action on the central and autonomic nervous system and on neuro-muscular action. It may be used in many conditions in combination with other herbs to further their effectiveness if relaxation is needed. Its primary specific use is in bronchitic asthma and bronchitis. Lobelia is a powerful respiratory stimulant, whilst isolobelanine is an emetic and respiratory relaxant, which will stimulate catarrhal secretion and expectoration whilst relaxing the muscles of the respiratory system. The overall action is a truly holistic combination of stimulation and relaxation. In summary Lobelia can be safely used in the respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis & cough.
University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/lobelia-000264.htm
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/indiantobacco.htm
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h260.htm