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Lobelia Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Lobelia

Scientific Name: Lobelia inflata

Common Names: Indian Tobacco, Puke Weed

Properties: Antispasmodic, Nervine, Stimulant, Emetic, Anti-asthmatic

What is Lobelia?

Lobelia, also called asthma weed, Indian tobacco, and bladderpod among many other names, is a type of herb native to North America. It’s characterized by pale blue spiky flowers, oval-shaped fruit, and an angle branched stem with yellowish or green leaves. It’s covered in hair and can grow as an annual or biennial plant. Native Americans were known to smoke the herb to treat various lung conditions. The American herbalist Samuel Thomson believed lobelia to be a cure-all. The leaves and seeds are commonly used in herbal medicine, and they can be burned and inhaled or used in herbal tea.1,2,3

Lobelia Uses and Health Benefits

Lobelia has long been used in herbal medicine for treating a variety of conditions, from respiratory problems to inflammatory conditions. Lobelia has a similar effect on the body as nicotine and can be used to support smoking cessation. It’s also been used to assist in vomiting in people who have ingested poisonous substances. Lobelia contains a chemical called obeline, which is said to help relax muscles. This may help in reducing muscle spasms throughout the body.1,2 In addition to treating cough and pneumonia, lobelia benefits include for:

  • Bursitis - Bursitis is a condition where the bursa, which are the small sacs between joints, become inflamed. Lobelia is believed to help relieve this pain and inflammation.
  • Asthma - One of the most prominent lobelia uses is for treating asthma symptoms. It’s commonly burned or smoked and the fumes inhaled to help treat the condition.
  • Bronchitis - Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, lobelia can help treat cough and bronchitis when used in small doses.
  • Emphysema - Emphysema causes damage to the lung’s air sacs, called alveoli. Lobelia may be able to help treat this condition.

Lobelia Side Effects and Precautions

Lobelia has many health benefits, but it’s important to use cautiously. Overdose of lobelia can result in paralysis, coma, or even death.1 However, in moderate doses, more common lobelia side effects can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Collapse

Do not use lobelia for more than one month straight.6 Avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and do not administer to children. Talk to your doctor before starting on any herbal remedy to ensure it’s safe for you. Tell your doctor about any other herbs or medications you’re using to ensure they won’t interact with lobelia home remedies.

 

References

  1. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_lobelia.htm
  2. http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2125008
  3. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lobelia
  4. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/bursitis
  5. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/images/emphysema
  6. http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2125008#hn-2125008-side-effects

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Lobelia for:

Bursitis Effective
Emphysema Effective
Asthma Effective
Hiccup Effective
Bronchitis Effective
Autism Effective

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