Lobelia tea has been known for centuries among various Native American communities as being effective for respiratory and viral disorders. Lobelia is a potent emetic (able to induce vomiting) and possesses relaxant, expectorant, nervine, anti-spasmodic, diuretic and sedative properties.
Lobelia is an annual or biennial herb that commonly grows up to two feet in height. Also known by its official name of lobelia inflata, the lobelia is covered by hair, and has distinctly angled and branched stems. It has yellow or light green colored leaves. The lobelia plant bears violet spiky flowers and oval-shaped fruits.
The main constituent of lobelia is lobeline which is a chemical compound said to help relax the muscles and reduce a person’s craving for nicotine. As such, lobelia is widely used in many smoking cessation programs. Other constituents include alkaloids, resins, lipids and gums.
The use of lobelia is not recommended to children, pregnant women, and individuals with cardiac disease, due to its similarity with nicotine. Furthermore, excessive use of lobelia will cause nausea, vomiting and other negative effects. Always consult a qualified medical practitioner before using this herb.
To make lobelia tea, infuse ½ teaspoon of dried lobelia leaves in a cup of boiling water. Allow the mix to steep for ten to fifteen minutes before straining and cooling. A single cup of lobelia tea may be drunk three times a day.
The following are some health benefits associated with this herb:
- May help cleanse the blood of toxins.
- May be used as a respiratory stimulant in the treatment of asthma. It may help induce coughing to expel phlegm.
- When applied topically this tea may help treat chronic sprains and certain spinal problems.
- May help in sedating the nerves, thus easing tension and panic.
- May have positive effects in treating tumor cells that are resistant to drugs. More research is underway in this field to conclusively determine the tea’s effects.
- May help fight spasms.