Lobelia is found mostly in the Eastern parts of the USA and Canada. This is an herb that is characterized by violet-pinkish flowers and bushy growths. The major regions where Lobelia grows in abundance are Nebraska, Arkansas, and British Columbia.
The lobelia herb is also known as Indian tobacco. The lobelia herb is named after Mattias de Lobel, a botanist who lived in the 17th century. It is 30 – 60 cm high and has sparsely leaved stems. When this herb is chewed, then it tastes similar to tobacco.
Native American tribes have used this plant 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 Lobelia is toxic for human consumption, but when you drink lobelia tea or eat lobelia extract is not harmful. But if you overuse it in any form, 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 avoid this Lobelia 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 the effect of a water pill, and when you take Lobelia, it can decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase the amount of lithium in the body, leading to serious side effects.
4 health benefits of lobelia herb
There are some studies in which are shown that Lobelia is used to help aid depression, but this has not been proven. Also, in 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 using it.
It is advised to take the Lobelia in lower dosages and combination with other herbs and then build up if you experience no side effects. Some doctors recommend taking 2 – 4 grams of Lobelia daily. Also, you can add a few drops to warm water or, if you do not mind the taste, directly in water.
It is a 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 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 avoid the use of Lobelia.
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 affects dopamine which is a brain chemical that influences addiction.
This is a reason why Lobelia, for a long time, has been prescribed to help people quit smoking. But studies have not proven that 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.
Some medical centers suggest that Lobelia can be used as a natural treatment for respiratory illness. Herbalists suggest 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 advise your doctor before you start taking Lobelia as your natural treatment for some respiratory problem.
It is thought that the lobelia herb can stimulate the brain’s respiratory center, resulting in stronger and deeper breathing.