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Lobelia quick review
Botanical description: also known as Indian tobacco, a genus in the family Lobeliaceae, an annual flowering plant often grown in window boxes and hanging baskets.
Active constituents: alkaloids, bitter glycoside (lobelacrin), a pungent volatile oil (lobelianin), resin, gum, chelidonic acid and fats.
Health benefits : used as an expectorant, emetic, anti-asthmatic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and nervine.

Side effects : considered a potentially toxic herb, signs of lobelia poisoning may include weakness, heartburn, weak pulse, difficulty breathing, and collapse.
 
Lobelia by Natures Sunshine
Lobelia herb possesses many properties that make it valuable to the respiratory system. One of its key constituents, lobeline, is thought to act in a way similar to nicotine. Each capsule of NSP Lobelia herb contains 375 mg lobelia. Click here for more information.
 

Lobelia


Lobelia, also known as Indian tobacco, is a genus in the family Lobeliaceae, comprising some 200 species, some of which are cultivated in gardens. These include Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower or Indian Pink), Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Lobelia), Lobelia fulgens and Lobelia erinus. Lobelia erinus is an annual flowering plant often grown in window boxes and hanging baskets. Many varieties have been cultivated with a wide variety of colours. Its stem, which has but few branches, is smooth above while the lower part is rough and hairy. The lower leaves, which are about 2 inches in length, are borne on stalks, while the upper, smaller ones are stemless. The pale green or yellowish leaves have a sharp taste and a slightly irritating odor. The sparse flowers are pale violet-blue outside and pale yellow inside. The flowers are irregular and bisexual, and are borne singly or in racemes, umbles or spikes. Petals, sepals and stamens are in fives. The petals are fused forming a two-lipped corolla, which consists of spreading lobes and a split tube.
 

Active constituents of lobelia


Lobelia consists of various alkaloids, a bitter glycoside (lobelacrin), a pungent volatile oil (lobelianin), resin, gum, chelidonic acid and fats. The alkaloid lobeline is responsible for most of lobelia's actions. The main alkaloid is lobeline, and others include lobelidine, lobelanine, nor-lobelaine, lobelanidine, nor-lobelanidine, lobeline and isolobenine, as well as fourteen pyridine alkaloids.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of lobelia


Lobelia has been used medicinally as an expectorant, emetic, anti-asthmatic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and nervine. Lobelia is an excellent expectorant. It reduces inflammation and stimulates respiration. Lobelia has been used especially for its antispasmodic qualities to treat asthma and whooping cough. Lobelia is a powerful relaxing agent as well as being beneficial for allergies, coughs, colds and headaches. Lobelia was also considered a useful pain reliever and in higher amounts was used to induce vomiting in people who had been poisoned. Lobelia has a relaxing and diffusing influence on inflamed, feverish, hypersensitive and irritable conditions in the body. Lobelia can be made into a poultice for bruises, erysipelas, felons, insect bites, ringworm, sprains, and poison ivy irritation. Lobelia is used as a sedative, which depresses spinal chord function excessively. Lobeline is an active respiratory stimulant, which relieves the bronchial spasms. Lobelia has also been used to help with nicotine addiction. An active ingredient in the lobelia plant, lobeline, is similar to nicotine in its effect on the body. Like nicotine, it stimulates nerves in the central nervous system.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


Lobelia is considered a potentially toxic herb. Special care is advised when using lobelia. Signs of lobelia poisoning may include weakness, heartburn, weak pulse, difficulty breathing, and collapse. People with high blood pressure, heart disease, tobacco sensitivity, paralysis, and seizure disorder should not take lobelia. Lobelia is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.