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Lobelia inflata - L.

Common Name Indian Tobacco
Family Campanulaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Some reports say that the plant is poisonous[7, 14, 19], whilst another says that toxicity has not been established[165]. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine[274]. See also the notes below on medicinal uses. Do not use during pregnancy and lactation. Excessive use discouraged. Avoid if high blood pressure, tendency to fits and heart disease [301].
Habitats Meadows, fields, roadsides, waste places and open woods[19, 43]. Usually in dry soils[235].
Range Northern N. America - Labrador to Saskatchewan, Georgia, Kansas and Arkansas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lobelia inflata Indian Tobacco


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Lobelia inflata Indian Tobacco
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lobelia inflata is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs)The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Dortmannia inflata. Lobelia michauxii. Rapuntium inflatum. Rapuntium michauxii

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiasthmatic;  Antispasmodic;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Expectorant;  Miscellany;  Nervine.


Indian Tobacco was a traditional North American Indian remedy for a wide range of conditions[254]. Nowadays it is used mainly as a powerful antispasmodic herb in the treatment of respiratory and muscle disorders[254]. Acting also as a respiratory stimulant, Indian Tobacco is a valuable remedy for conditions such as bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis[254]. The dried flowering herb and the seed are antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and nervine[4, 7, 21, 46, 165, 171]. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and pleurisy[238]. This remedy should be used with great caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[7, 21, 165]. Excess doses cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and respiratory failure[238]. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant contains the alkaline 'lobeline' which has proved to be of value in helping people to give up smoking tobacco[7, 200, 213]. It is contained in many proprietary anti-smoking mixtures where it mimics the effects of nicotine[238]. The alkaloids present in the leaves are used to stimulate the removal of phlegm from the respiratory tract[213]. When chewed, the leaves induce vomiting, headache and nausea - in larger doses it has caused death[213]. The alkaloids first act as a stimulant and then as a depressive to the autonomic nervous system and in high doses paralyses muscular action in the same way as curare[213]. Externally, the plant is used in treating pleurisy, rheumatism, tennis elbow, whiplash injuries, boils and ulcers[238]. The whole plant is harvested when the lower fruits are ripe and it is used fresh or dried[238].

Other Uses

Miscellany;  Repellent.

The plant has been burnt in order to smoke out gnats[257].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in full sun or light shade[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acid soil[238]. Plants are usually annual, but are sometimes biennial[4]. This species is occasionally cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant[46, 57].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates within 2 weeks.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal Flower03
Lobelia dortmannaWater Lobelia, Dortmann's cardinalflower02
Lobelia radicans 03
Lobelia sessilifolia 10
Lobelia siphiliticaGreat Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia, Great Lobelia02
Lobelia spicataPale Spike, Palespike lobelia01
Lobelia tupaDevil's Tobacco01

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

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Links / References

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Readers comment

Ashok Kumar   Thu Oct 16 2008

We want it in bulk quantity can any one supply, we want to know Hindi and Snskrut name for this herb.

caryllina jurgeit   Sat Nov 29 2008

I bought this by the bulk to help quit smoking but dont no the dosage amount can u help me?

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Subject : Lobelia inflata  
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