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Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lobelia


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
L is for Lobelia

In it's herbal form,
many say that
Lobelia doesn't
belong on the
home medicine
shelf, as all
parts of the
plant contain
toxins.

American
Indians first
introduced
Lobelia to the
settlers. In fact
the Shakers packaged it for sale overseas.
Similar to Tobacco, it is sold over the counter to help
people stop smoking.

It is often known by other names, as "Red Lobelia,"
Cardinal Flower, Indian Tobacco, "Eyebright."

Lobelia is an effective emetic but I believe that is
when you just step over the line into pushing more
poison onto the body than it can tolerate.  In one way
the older herbalist still believe that...... something
akin to homeopathy. But where homeopathy is
"like cures like," the lobelia cure is more like
"puke your brains out" and then take some more
Lobelia. I mostly follow the older herbalists but
on Lobelia, I'm not quite sure where I stand.  I've
probably crossed the line many times in my
zeal for self-healing and I'm still ticking.

If you stay within the limit of good judgement,
here are other medical uses:  treating lung
disorders, angina, asthma, cough suppressant,
a sedative as it lessens pain.

It's rather mysterious as an herb but I've
always been drawn to it.

33 comments:

  1. I've never seen red lobelia, only the blue flowers that are popular in garden beds or pots here. My book has it listed as Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed. That description is enough to put me off. There's quite a long passage on its actions and usage, almost a whole page. "In croup, whooping cough and asthma it is specially valuable..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      I've never grown the red in the garden..... only the blue too. Yesterday (Sunday) a neighbor asked me to go to see what plants and herbs are already in at the large valley market, as they just opened for the season. What a delightful afternoon for us, since we are both gardening enthusiasts. We didn't buy yet because it is too early to plant in our harsh climate but just brousing made us look like 2 kids in the chocolate factory.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like one has to be on their toes when using it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy Ghost
      On your toes is a good way to put it because we really have to be, always, as we all are really responsible for our own health.

      Delete
  3. Interesting. I used to grow many of the medicinal herbs but have gotten away from it. Maybe it's time to go back and revisit my interest. Thanks for sharing Lobelia. I think I'll give it another look.
    http://yeakleyjones.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann
      An interesting comment. Thank you and I hope these posts have inspired some people to return to the true roots of healing.

      Delete
  4. One that sounds helpful, but like anything we'd have to ration as too much may have the opposite effect. First I've heard of it too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat
      People should always use caution with herbs. Do as I say, not as I do.

      Delete
  5. I haven't heard of this one either. I agree good judgment is paramount with any self-treatment (or most anything at all, for that matter). :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosey
      Herbs can be harsh and no one likes to fear a cure.

      Delete
  6. Hi Manzanita .. I'd be steering clear I think .. but interesting to read about ..

    I wrote about our Eyebright in 2011 - here's the link if you feel like having a quick read .. it's a different plant ..

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/e-is-for-eyebright-thats-what-e-is-for.html

    I have planted lobelia - but the pink, white, lavender ones ..

    Cheers - interesting to read about though - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary
      Thanks for the link. I'd love to read about it. Yes, it's most likely not the one you know about... I don't know why they call it eyebright too.

      Delete
  7. Lobelia--I have seen the blue, but never the red. A lovely plant with many uses. One has to be careful with this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan
      I do not advocate anyone to ever use this herb without strict supervision. I've always been the kind of "no pain, no gain." I know I've crossed the line many times with herbs but the side effects are always at a low minimun compared to commercial drugs.

      Delete
  8. I'd rather not puke my brains out, so I'll stay away from this one. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susiee
      Very wise, my dear, especially with this one.

      Delete
  9. It's a pretty flower. I never would've guessed it can do so much for our health.

    Manzanita, thanks for your comment on Robins blog. I'm sorry our contact over the years has fallen into the sporadic-at-best zone. But I'm glad you're still here and going strong.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn
      I think people sometimes go on to read a different kind of blog. We still make contact once in a while and i enjoy reading your comments at Pat's blog. One of my favorite older photos is yours, standing with your sister in front of a building.That always sticks with me,,,,, don't know why. You are a wonderful L.

      Delete
  10. I grow lobelia all over the place, and I had no idea of its curative powers! Wow! This is great to learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CLee
      You must have a fantastic garden as you've mentioned that you grow many of the herbs.

      Delete
  11. It sounds better as Indian Tobacco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JJ
      Sounds good to me too. We'll leave it at that. :)

      Delete
  12. I've never seen the red ones before and I didn't know it had curative powers.
    Merle..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle
      Your garden is gorgeous. It is home to many varieties of herbs.

      Delete
  13. Ok, you got me at puke your brains out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti
      That was put very indelicately. Sorry, my red neck is showing. :)

      Delete
  14. I am thinking that I will pass on this one. I have enough problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin
      thanks for the honest comment. Some herbs are better left alone.

      Delete
  15. I need to tell my sister about this one. She has been trying to get her Husband to stop smoking for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry
      Maybe he doesn't want to stop smoking. Just thinking out loud.

      Delete
  16. Very interesting facts about Lobelia, but it sounds really unpredictable...so, probably, it's better to be taken under professional supervision. I didn't know it's toxic! We had blue Lobelia hanging in a pot in our balcony last summer...

    ReplyDelete