Lobelia is found mostly in the Eastern parts of the USA and Canada. This is herb which is characterized by violet – pinkish flowers and bushy growths. Nebraska, Arkansas and British Columbia are the major regions where lobelia grows in abundance. The lobelia herb is also known as Indian tobacco. The lobelia herb is named after Mattias de Lobel which is a botanist who has lived in the 17th century. It is 30 – 60 cm high and it has sparsely leaved stems. When this herb is chewed, then it tastes similar to tobacco. This plant has been used by the Native Americans tribes for centuries because it has many healing and medicinal properties. The parts of this plant which are used are flowering plants and seeds. There are widespread perceptions that the lobelia is toxic for the human consumption but when you drink lobelia tea or eat the lobelia extract is not harmful. But if you overuse in any form, then it can lead to many side effects, such as coughing; coma; rapid heartbeat; nausea; dizziness; vomiting; diarrhea and profuse sweating. The usage of lobelia tea can result in interaction with psychiatric medications and nicotine substitutes. This is a reason why you should be cautious about its intake. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should not use this herb for their safety. A cup of lobelia tea can be healing and refreshing at the same time. It is known that lithium interacts with lobelia. This herb might have an effect of water pill and when you are taking lobelia then it can decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase the amount of lithium in the body and it will lead to serious side effects.
Here are some health benefits of lobelia herb:
Depression: There are some studies in which are shown that the lobelia is used to help aid depression but this has not been proved. Also in the homeopathic medicine was suggested that lobelia herb is a muscle relaxant. This herb can interact with anti – anxiety or anti – inflammatory drugs so talk with your doctor before you start using it. It is advised to start taking the lobelia in lower dosages and in combination with other herbs and then build up if you experience no side effects. There are some doctors who are recommending taking 2 – 4 grams of lobelia on daily basis. Also you can add a few drops to warm water or if you do not mind the taste, then directly in water.
Cleansing: It is known fact that lobelia has been called “puke weed”. It is explained in some studies that during the 19th century, American doctors gave lobelia to people to remove toxins from the body and induce vomiting. In the homeopathy, lobelia is used to reduce vomiting and nausea. When you are using too much lobelia, then it can cause sweating, dizziness or nausea so this is a reason why you should use it with caution. Nursing or pregnant women should not use lobelia.
Quitting smoking: The active ingredient in lobelia is known as lobeline. The effect of this active ingredient is similar to those of nicotine. There are some studies in which are shown that lobeline effects dopamine which is a brain chemical that influences addiction. This is a reason why lobelia for long time has been prescribed to help people quitting smoking. But studies have not proven that the lobelia is effective in helping addictive patterns so this is a reason why you should talk with your doctor before you start using lobelia as your natural treatment for quitting smoking.
Health benefits of lobelia herb
Respiratory health: There are some medical centers which are suggesting that the lobelia can be used as a natural treatment for respiratory illness. Herbalists are suggesting that the lobelia aid with conditions, such as pneumonia, whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis. This herb is an herbal expectorant and this means that it can help to clear the mucus from the lungs and respiratory tract but studies have not shown that this is true in healing these conditions so advice your doctor before you start taking lobelia as your natural treatment for some respiratory problem. It is thought that lobelia herb can stimulate the respiratory center of the brain which is resulting in stronger and deeper breathing.