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Home :: Herbal Medicines

Lobelia

 

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Lobelia Botanical Name is Lobelia cardinalis. It is a genus in the family Campanulaceae. Lobelia ( Lobelia inflata ), also called Indian tobacco. It subsuming some 200 species, some of which are cultivated in gardens. It 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 regimen for asthma.

Lobelia species are found world-wide in tropical and temperate areas but particularly in North, Central and South America where their habitats ramble from marshes, wet meadows and riverbanks to woodlands, hilly and mountainous slopes and desert. Lobelia is an attractive annual or occassionally biennial (replanted every year or two) herb that grows to a height of three feet. Its erect, hairy stem is angular, branching at the top, generally green with a tinge of violet.

Lobelia is not seeded directly in the garden as it does not begin to flower until two months after seed is planted. Begin the seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks prior the last frost is due; since the seeds are very small, plant them on top of finely prepared soil without covering them. Most nurseries and garden supply stores provide started plants already in bloom. Transplant after all peril of frost is past, spacing them 4 to 6 inches apart. Remove flower spikes after blooming to produce likewise growth. 'Rosamund' is the pictured cultivar.

Lobelia dosages for adults are estimated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Thus, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 - 25 kg), the preempt dose of lobelia for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage. Lobelia plant, lobeline, is similar to nicotine in its effect on the body. Like nicotine, it exhilarates nerves in the central nervous system. For this persuade, lobeline was once used as a nicotine substitute in many anti-smoking products and preparations designed to break the smoking habit. is a potentially toxic herb.

Lobelia can be cautiously used in very small doses (particularly homeopathic doses), but moderate-to-large doses can cause serious adverse effects ranging from dry mouth and nausea to convulsions and even coma. The above-ground regions of the lobelia plant (namely the leaves and seeds) are used for medicinal purposes. Lobelia is also diluted to a homeopathic dose and used alone or in unification with other products for smoking cessation, muscle relaxation, nausea, vomiting, and various respiratory illnesses.

Lobelia is present in liquid extracts, tinctures, and as a dried herb in capsules and for teas. People having high blood pressure, heart disease, tobacco sensitivity, paralysis, seizure disorder, and succinct of breath, and those recovering from shock should not take lobelia. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should also avoid this herb.