Common name: Pukeweed,
USA, cultivated elsewhere.
Part used: Aerial
entire plant above ground should be collected
at the end of the flowering time, between
August and September. The seed pods should
be collected as well.
mainly lobeline, withlobelanidine, lobelanine,
and minor amounts of norlobelanine(=isolobelanine),
lelobanidine, lovinine, isolobinine, lobinanidine
anti-spasmodic, expectorant, emetic, nervine.
is one of the most useful systemic relaxants
available to us. It has a general depressant
action on the central and autonomic nervous
system and on neuro-muscular action. It
may be used in many conditions in combination
with other herbs to further their effectiveness
if relaxation is needed. Its primary specific
use is in bronchitic asthma and
bronchitis. An analysis of the
action of the alkaloids present reveal
apparently paradoxical effects. Lobeline
is a powerful respiratory stimulant, whilst
isolobelanine is an emetic and respiratory
relaxant, which will stimulate catarrhal
secretion and expectoration whilst relaxing
the muscles of the respiratory system.
The overall action is a truly holistic
combination of stimulation and relaxation!
Priest & Priest
tell us that it is a "general systemic
relaxant with diffusive stimulation -
best where arterial action is strong.
Equalizes circulation and relieves vascular
tension. Vaso-motor stimulant -increases
the activity of vegetative processes.
Influences glandular system and respiratory
tubuli. Contra-indicated in nervous prostration,
shock and paralysis. Of brief continuance
in asthenic conditions." They give the
following specific indications: Dislocations,
trauma and hernias. Spasmodic and membranous
coup, pertussis, bronchial asthma, bronchitis
and pleurisy. Hepatitis, jaundice, nausea
and hepatic congestion. High blood pressure,
intestinal obstruction and neurasthenia.
it specific for "irritable, spasmodic
and oppressed breathing, and in respiratory
from exalted nerve force and nerve irritation.
It is contra-indicated in general relaxation
and in dyspnoea from enlarged or fatty
heart, or from hydropericardium, or enfeebled
heart, with valvular incompetence. It
is specific in threatened spasm with exalted
nerve action - a high degree of nerve
tension with great restlessness and excitability,
flushed face and contracted pupils. It
is a prompt emetic in full doses." The
high regard that the eclectics held Lobelia
in is reflected by his recommendation
for the following pathologies: spasmodic
asthma, whooping cough, spasmodic croup,
membranous croup, infantile convulsions,
puerperal eclampsia, epilepsy, tetanus,
hysterical paroxysms, hysterical convulsions,
rigid os uteri, diptheria, tonsillitis,
For a more detailed discussion
of this important plant please refer to
pg. 235- pg. 242 of Ellingwood's American
Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy,
and pg. 1199 - 1205 of King's American
It will combine well with Cayenne, Grindelia,
Pill-bearing Spurge, Sundew and Ephedra
in the treatment of asthma.
Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water
onto l/4 to l/2 teaspoonful of the dried
leaves and let infuse for l0-l5 minutes.
This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: take l/2 ml of the tincture
three times a day.
used and where grown: Lobelia
grows throughout North America. The
leaves are primarily used in herbal
has been used in connection with the
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
physicians, early North American doctors
who used herbs as their primary medicine,
considered lobelia to be one of the
most important medicinal plants.1 It was used
by Eclectics to treat coughs and spasms
in the lungs from varying causes, as
well as spasms elsewhere in the body,
including the intestines and ureters
(passages from the kidney to the bladder).2 Lobelia was
also considered a useful pain reliever
and in higher amounts was used to induce
vomiting in people who had been poisoned.
alkaloid lobeline is responsible for
most of lobelia's actions. Lobeline
has been used as a traditional herbal
approach to help people stop smoking.