Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)
Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)

Lobelia, Official (Lobelia inflata)

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Lobelia inflata, known broadly by the common name ‘Indian Tobacco’ is a toxic plant native to North America, and takes hold well in poor soils. Indigenous Americans were said to have smoked and chewed the leaves, often as a remedy for asthma or respiratory ailments. Other common names are ‘Gagroot’ or ‘Puke Weed,’ as American physicians in the 19th century prescribed Lobelia as a means of causing a patient to vomit out any toxins. American herbalist Samuel Thomson (1769-1843) was a great proponent of Lobelia, until use of this plant fell out of favor. F or a time, Lobelia inflata was shown to have potential ability as a nicotine addiction treatment/replacement, until further studies discredited this. Still, research is undergoing, and scientists are working to determine if its active compound, lobeline, could reduce the effects of nicotine on the body, alongside its potential as a drug addiction treatment. 

Regardless, one should not attempt to consume or smoke any parts of Lobelia inflata without guidance from an experienced herbalist

Given Lobelia can be toxic to mammals, mammalian herbivores steer clear from it. Small bees, particularly Halictid bees, are fond of its delicate blue bellflower blooms. If allowed, this plant will be able to self-seed itself and continue in your garden for the next year to come.