Lobelia inflata Common name: Indian tobacco
Part used: Aerial parts
Constituents: Piperidine alkaloids (lobeline, isolobeline and others), Chelidonic acid, Resins, Gums, Fats
Medicinal actions: Respiratory stimulant, expectorant, emetic, diaphoretic, anti-spasmodic, nervine.
Medicinal use: Lobelia is used primarily for its relaxant effects in the bronchioles. Its ability to relax the smooth muscle of the bronchioles make it an invaluable part of an acute or chronic asthma formula. Lobelia reduces smooth muscle spasm and thus lowers arterial pressure and vascular tension. Is also a useful aid in smoking withdrawal.
Pharmacy: Infusion: 1/4-1/2 tsp dried leaves/ cup water; 1 cup TID. Tincture (1:5, 60%) fresh or (1:8, 60%) dried, 0.5 ml TID.
Toxicity: Burning esophagus, salivation, N/V, weakness, stupor, tremors, paralysis, tachypnea, hypothermia, rapid pulse, pinpoint pupils, unconsciousness, convulsions, coma, exhaustion, sweating, prostration, miosis, death. The toxic dose is variable and some individuals are sensitive to the therapeutic dose with vomiting.
Contraindications: In general relaxation and dyspnea (especially when due to a weakened heart or valvular incompetence), in nervous prostration, shock or paralysis; heart disease (including cardiomegaly, fatty heart, pericarditis with effusion, valvular incompetence, cardiac decompensation, sinus arrhythmia or bundle branch block), pneumonia or pleural effusion, hypertension, low vitality, pregnancy or tobacco sensitivity.
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