Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Purposes Of Lobelia

Sometimes called Indian tobacco or pukeweed, the lobelia plant grows primarily in the United States and Canada. Herbalists often utilize the flowers, leaves and stems of the lobelia as an alternative form of medicine.


Found in lobelia, the chemical lobeline mimics the actions of the stimulant nicotine used in the production of tobacco products. In addition, herbalists believe that lobelia loosens phlegm and thins mucus in your airways.


Because it mimics nicotine, some herbalists use lobelia as an aid for smoking cessation. Other uses of lobelia include the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, coughing and other respiratory illnesses like emphysema, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Expert Insight

The FDA prohibited the sale of lobelia smoking products in 1993. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that the benefits of lobelia have not been scientifically proven.


Lobelia poses a risk for toxic side effects, such as sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, increased heart rate, confusion, seizures, hypothermia and coma. When taken at very high doses, such as 500mg or more, lobelia use can result in death, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center.


If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid taking lobelia due to its potentially toxic effects. If you have a history of heart problems, digestive ulcers, Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease, it may not be safe for you to use lobelia, cautions RxList.

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