Lobelia Leaf


Common Name

Standardized: lobelia
Other: Indian tobacco, puke weed

Botanical Name

Lobelia inflata L.
Plant Family: Campanulaceae


Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) is an attractive annual or biennial considered to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies ever discovered, according to Potter's Encyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Lobelia has historically been used and appreciated for a number of functions, including toxin removal, craving control, and, perhaps most notably, it’s ability to relieve problematic respiratory symptoms.  Lobelia has a long history of therapeutic and ritual use.

Parts Used

Aerial portion

Typical Preparations

Lobelia is best used as a tea or in smoking blends. It may be smoked directly but can be nauseating for some folks. Seldom found in extract and capsule form.

Natritional Benefits of Lobelia

Here are some of the benefits that you'll likely receive when you start using lobelia therapeutically:

  • Respiratory stimulant and antispasmodic — Lobelia may help the bronchial tubes relax, stimulating breathing and loosening phlegm.5
  • Expectorant — Lobelia decreases the viscosity and promotes the excretion of mucus produced in the respiratory system. It works by triggering the cough reflex and is said to be more effective than other expectorants. It is commonly used to ease pneumonia and bronchitis.6
  • Muscle relaxant — In small doses, lobelia may help constricted areas in the body relax, promoting better blood circulation. It may also aid in easing stomach cramps and other body tensions.7


Specific: Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner. May cause nausea or vomiting in larger doses.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

Scientific studies have also linked lobelia to seizure prevention and neuron protection in those with Parkinson's disease. In a 2014 study published in the journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, lobeline, an alkaloid from lobelia, was found to inhibit dopamine transportation by blocking DAT-mediated uptake. This helps protect dopaminergic neurons from toxins that may trigger neuron damage and death.

This herb is sold by the ounce

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