Lobelia is an annual or biennial herb. It is covered with hair and has an angled, branched stem. The leaves of lobelia herb are either yellow or light green in color. The flowers of lobelia are spiky and pale violet-blue. The fruits are in the form of small brown seeds. The scientific name of lobelia is Lobelia inflata. It is known by several common names. Some of them are pukeweed, Indian tobacco and bladderpod. Lobelia is indigenous to North America, and is commonly found along the sides of roads in the eastern United States, Russia's Kamchakta Peninsula and Canada. Lobelia has been known and used for several medicinal benefits in these parts of the world. It is mostly used by extracting the contents of its parts like seeds, flowers, leaves, etc.
Lobelia Extract Benefits
Herbalists often attach great value to lobelia extracts. They prescribe its usage for the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses. According to them, lobelia contains an alkaloid called lobeline. This alkaloid is chemically similar to nicotine. However, it is non-addictive in nature. Lobeline is an expectorant which means that it can clear the passage of the lungs. With clear lungs, many people don't find the taste of cigarette and smoke good. It decreases one's desire for nicotine. This is the reason why many medical practitioners prescribe lobelia extract based medicines to people who wish to stop smoking. Lobelia is thus commonly known as a smoking deterrent.
According to many herbalists, lobeline nourishes the respiratory system and supports the body during breathing problems. It has the ability to reduce bronchial constriction and thin sinus mucus. The action of lobeline eases the coughing out of mucus. The presence of lobeline makes lobelia an expectorant, anti-asthmatic and diaphoretic. Due to all these properties, lobelia promotes relaxation response under the state of physical or mental stress. It decreases adrenaline level in the body. It opens the lungs and chest, and thus eases breathing.
Lobelia contains another alkaloid called isobetanine. This alkaloid is known to relax the central nervous system. It thus acts as a relaxant and eases tension. The presence of isobetanine makes the lobelia extract based drugs ideal for the patients of asthma and bronchitis. It is also believed to calm the nervous system of people who suffer from withdrawal symptoms while quitting smoking. It helps people effectively stop nicotine addiction. The explanation given here on the action of lobeline and isobetanine is only a hypothesis proposed by many scientists. This is still being researched and lacks enough scientific facts as proof.
Herbalists often recommend the topical application of lobelia extract on the areas of bruises and sprains. As already mentioned, it is used for treating a number of diseases and ailments. Some of them are listed below.
- Ear pain
- Stiff necks
- Venereal diseases
- Spasmodic asthma
- Whooping cough
- Spasmodic croup
- Membranous croup
- Hysterical convulsions
- Infantile convulsions
Lobelia Extract Side Effects
It is always advisable that you take lobelia extract in consultation with a herbalist or any other professional medical practitioner. You should take it strictly in amounts suggested by the expert. This is because, lobelia extract has been observed to produce side effects when taken unnecessarily and in more-than-required amounts. Usually, the allowable quantity of lobelia extract does not exceed 1 milliliter at a time. If it exceeds this value, it may cause nausea, dizziness and possibly vomiting. Lobelia has a reputation of having some toxicity. Signs of lobelia poisoning include weakness, weak pulse, heartburn, difficulty breathing, and even fainting. It may also cause respiratory depression, respiratory muscle paralysis, high blood pressure, slow pulse, and even death. Lobelia is not meant to be used by children, consecutively for a month, and during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
While you are taking lobelia extract, you should make it a point to follow a healthy diet to treat the ailment you are suffering from. This will help you obtain the maximum possible health benefits of the lobelia extract. Only an extract cannot help you recuperate from an ailment. Intake of all the nutrients in balance is always necessary.