Lobelia

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Lobelia inflata (Lobelia) 

Lobelia inflata grows as a tall annual with blue flowers and lance shaped leaves, and is native to North America, particularly within the eastern area of the United States. The aerial part of the plan is harvested in the autumn season.1,2
 
Thought to have magical properties and ward off ghosts, Lobelia was commonly used by the Native Americans for many conditions, including vomiting, venereal diseases and for worms. It was also smoked as a substitute for tobacco.1
 
Known to be a potent respiratory stimulant and antispasmodic, it is primary used in bronchial asthma and bronchitis, as it can open up the airway stimulating breathing and assisting the body to expel unwanted phlegm. Externally applied, lobelia is an effective relaxant and can be used for sprains and back issues. It has also been clinically used to help stop smoking due to it’s chemical constituent of similar make-up to nicotine.1,3,4 Lobelia can also be used as a mouthwash and gargle for sore throats and mouth ulcers.2
 
References:
 
1. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, 1996. Print.
2. Mills, Simon. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. Healing Arts Press, 1988. Print.
3. Hoffman, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press: 2003. Print.
4. Godfrey, Anthony and Saunders Paul R. Principles and Practice of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine: Volume I: Botanical Medicine Monographs. CCNM Press Inc, 2010. Print.

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