Lobelia, Indian tobacco, Lobelia inflata L., dried and cured leaves were smoked like tobacco to treat respiratory problems such as asthma, coughs, sore throat, bronchitis, whooping cough.  Considered diaphoretic, sedative, emetic, TOXIC!

Poultice of root rubbed on sore muscles, neck muscles, back muscles.  Both roots and leaves used on bites and stings, boils, sores as an external detoxifier and analgesic.  Cold infusion of plant considered strong emetic.  Plant is considered a cure for cigarette smoking but fatalities may have occurred where the practitioner was not skilled.

See Cardinal Flower below.

Patent:  Lobeline for psychostimulant abuse and eating disorders.
              Cancer treatment formula

Varieties found from coast to coast.  In western mountains species is a high altitude lover, much smaller in size and abundant near tree line in Sierras, Coastal ranges. L. inflata typically found near water.


Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis L. (Campanalaceae).

NATIVE AMERICAN USES:  Leaves:  Crushed and applied to headache (Cherokee); leaf infusion for acute infections (colds).

Root:  Decoction used to treat worm infestation, crushed root infusion for wounds and sores; infusion for stomach problems; Delaware used root infusion to treat typhoid fever; root infusion to break witches spell; chopped and macerated root added to food as a love inducing medicine.

Whole Plant: Infusion for treating arthritis (rheumatism); infusion to reduce fever; root decoction as a wash for wounds, sores, sore breasts; wash to induce love, aphrodisiac;  to induce menstruation;  infusion used to wash utensils, cooking baskets; strewing plant over graves around tipis.

In compounding this plant considered to strengthen (synergistic, adjuvant therapy) to formula.