Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lobelia Inflata Unwanted Effects

Lobelia inflata
is also known as Indian tobacco, asthma weed, gagroot, puke weed and vomit wort. This annual herb can grow to be three feet high with an erect hairy stem and branches at the top. The stems are green with a little tinge of purple to them. The pale green or yellowish leaves have a sharp taste and irritating smell. Its sparse flowers are pale blue with pale yellow insides.


The leaves and seeds of lobelia inflata are used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally, lobelia inflata has been used to strengthen the body and treat disease. It is used for asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coughing, smoking cessation and tobacco addiction.

Side Effects

Daily doses of lobelia inflata should not exceed more than 20 mg. Amounts above this limit frequently cause bouts of coughing, nausea and vomiting. It was used to induce vomiting in people who were poisoned.


Lobelia inflata is considered toxic. The active substances in lobelia inflata bind to the nicotine receptors in the nervous system. This can cause profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, hypothermia, coma and even death. In doses higher than 500 mg, it is highly toxic. It is almost impossible to ingest a toxic amount of lobelia inflata due to the tendency to vomit up the herb. Lobelia inflata poisoning appears as weakness, heartburn, weak pulse, difficulty breathing and collapse.

Drug Interactions

Lobelia inflata can interfere with nicotine alternatives. Lobelia inflata is the plant that lobeline is derived from. Lobeline is used to aid in smoking cessation treatments. Lobelia inflata produces nicotine-like effects. It increases the risk of nicotine related side effects when taken with nicotine alternatives.

Medical Warning

Lobelia inflata triggers side effects and adverse interactions with other herbs, supplements or medications. People who have high blood pressure, heart disease, tobacco sensitivity, paralysis, seizure disorder, shortness of breath and recovering from shock should not take lobelia inflata. Do not use this herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Lobelia inflata should be taken only under the supervision of a medical care provider.

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