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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    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
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 July to August, and the seeds ripen from August 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Dortmannia inflata. Lobelia michauxii. Rapuntium inflatum. Rapuntium michauxii

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References

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].

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Miscellany  Repellent

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

Special Uses

References

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].

References

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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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal FlowerPerennial1.0 3-9 MLMHSNMWeWa03 
Lobelia dortmannaWater Lobelia, Dortmann's cardinalflowerPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe02 
Lobelia radicans Perennial0.2 -  LMHSNMWe03 
Lobelia sessilifolia Perennial0.7 4-8  LMHSNMWe10 
Lobelia siphiliticaGreat Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia, Great LobeliaPerennial1.0 5-9 MLMHSNMWe02 
Lobelia spicataPale Spike, Palespike lobeliaPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNMWe01 
Lobelia tupaDevil's TobaccoPerennial2.0 7-10  LMHSNM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

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Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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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