Botanical Name: Lobelia inflata | Family: Campanulacaeae
Common name(s): Lobelia, Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed
- Annual / Biennial | zones 6-9 | 1-2 feet | pale violet-blue flowers, tinted pale yellow within, from July – August
- Found in open woods and fields and along roadsides. It’s common in the Eastern United States – west to Arkansas and eastern Kansas, south to Georgia.
- Dry soil
- The whole plant, including the seed pods, should be collected after flowering (between August and September)
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: 1 cup boiling water onto 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Tincture: take 1/2 – 1ml of tincture 3x/day.
Constituents: Various alkaloids including lobeline (the seeds contain the most amount), which has similar effects to nicotine; bitter glycosides; volatile oil; resins; gum
Actions: expectorant, stimulant, antispasmodic, anit-asthmatic, emetic, one of the most useful systemic relaxants available.
Uses: asthma, spasmodic coughs, spasms and tetany, food poisoning (vomit), catalyst for other herbs in a formula
Combinations: combines well with Cayenne, Grindelia, Pill-bearing Spurge, Sundew and Ephedra in treating asthma
- Bitter, neutral
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
- *The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Some interesting history can be found in A Modern Herbal, Grieve, Volume 2
- Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide
- Herb Talk Materia Medica (which also uses Holistic Herbal as a reference)
- Plants for a Future database
- photo credit: FritzFlohrReynolds via photopin cc
I have an heirloom variety I planted down by the stream because it likes the shade. I also think it’s a perennial. I’ll find out, I guess. But it’s not the medicinal lobelia.