Lobelia inflata (also known as Indian Tobacco) is a well-known traditional remedy to help
open and clear the lungs while relaxing the nervous system. Historically Lobelia is called the “intelligent herb” because it goes to the area of the body that most needs the affects it gives. Originally used by Eastern United States tribes like the Penobscot Indians, Lobelia developed a reputation as a powerful herbal remedy from the famous herbalist Samuel Thompson in the 19th century.
According to Plants for a Future, Lobelia relaxes muscle spasms, is calming to the nerves, encourages perspiration, is diuretic, and clears phlegm from the chest through stimulating coughing. Lobelia contains 14 alkaloids, one of the strongest bio-chemicals found in plants. One of the active alkaloids in Lobelia is called Lobeline which relaxes muscles and decreases blood pressure.
One of the benefits of Lobelia is its ability to ease cravings for nicotine. Lobeline is similar chemically to nicotine but has a different affect on the body. It opens the blood vessels, calms the nerves and draws toxins out of the lungs. As nicotine is purged from the body over time, cravings are reduced.
Lobelia is a great topical herb to reduce swelling and pain from insect bites. Cayenne Concentrate combined with Lobelia Concentrate is massaged into sore muscles to relieve spasms and increase circulation to that area.
Southern Botanicals prepares Lobelia in two forms; tincture/concentrate and tea form. The tincture is made from the seeds and seed pods of the plant in a base of distilled water, apple cider vinegar and a small amount of pure grain alcohol. This preparation is far stronger than any you will find in a health food store, or elsewhere, for that matter.
Like many herbs, the effect of Lobelia increases with higher dosages and its use is recommended with caution. As a powerful emetic in large doses, Lobelia can lead to nausea and vomiting. This is a beneficial affect when dealing with food poisoning or to purge toxins from the body like tar from cigarettes.
If an upset stomach occurs, peppermint tea can help offset that affect. Lobelia is recommended at lower dosages, typically starting at 5-10 drops to relax the nerves and open the lungs. It is a great herbal remedy to have on hand when nerves need calming and the lungs need help opening when irritated by asthma or bronchitis.