Lobelia and Its Herbal Healing Uses

Latin name: Lobelia inflate

Common name(s): Asthma Weed, Bladderpod, Gagroot, Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed

Lobelia is used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. It is useful to tobacco smokers in the aid of helping them to stop smoking due to the cross-tolerance between its major alkaloid which is lobeline and nicotine. It closely resembles nicotine but is much milder which decreases the desire to smoke.

Lobelia is an appetite suppressant and it is a gastrointestinal inhibitor and stimulant. You can add some capsicum to lobelia which works great for flushing the poisons from the bowels and stomach. Lobelia is excellent for a muscle relaxant during childbirth according to Samuel Thomson who was an herbalist and physician in the early nineteenth century.

Lobelia is an analgesic, anodyne, anti-spasmodic, astringent, cathartic, counter-irritant, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine and sedative. The parts of the plant that are used in herbal healing are the whole plant. You can use lobelia with slippery elm in a poultice and a soap to bring boils or abscesses to a head.

Lobelia is a downy annual that is spreading in its growth. It has ovate tooth leaves and in the summer it blooms light blue and often pink tinged tipped flowers which are then followed by two valved capsules that are inflated. Lobelia is an emetic acrid herb that reduces inflammation and fevers according to ‘Natural Health Guide’ by Deanna Tenney.

Lobelia is an important ingredient of pharmaceutical and commercial prepared anti-smoking products because it imitates the effects of nicotine and it is also an important ingredient in cough drops and syrups. Lobelia does face some legal restrictions in some countries due to the alkaloids it contains.

Lobelia can be used as a tea to treat dysentery. You should bring to boil one pint of water then add 2/3 cup of fresh lobelia plant and cover. Let simmer for ten minutes on low heat then remove from heat and set aside so it can steep for thirty minutes. When it has cooled enough for drinking you can drink one-half cup every four hours.

Lobelia can be used to treat any of the following:

Allergies, angina, arthritis, asthma, blood poisoning, blood vessels, boils, bronchial asthma, bronchial spasms, bronchitis, bruises, bursitis, canker sores, catarrh, chicken pox, childhood diseases, colds, colic, congestion, contagious diseases, convulsions, coughs, croup, delirium, digestive disorders, drowsiness, earaches, ear infections, emphysema, epilepsy, fevers, food poisoning, hay fever, headaches, heart, heart palpitations, hepatitis, hyperactivity, inflammation, insomnia, lock jaw, lung problems and disorders, meningitis, migraine headaches, miscarriage, mucous membranes, mumps, nerve relaxant, pain, palsy, pleurisy, pneumonia, poison ivy, rheumatic fever, rheumatism, respiratory failure, respiratory stimulant, ringworm, scarlet fever, seizures, shock, small intestines, smoking, spasms, sprains, stimulates perspiration, St. Vitus’ Dance, teething, tennis elbow, toothaches, tumors, ulcers, vomiting, whiplash injuries, whooping cough, worms and wounds.

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