Skip to product information
1 of 1

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About

Lobelia is a plant. The above ground parts are used to make medicine.

Lobelia is used for breathing problems including asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, and shortness of breath (apnea) in newborn infants. Some people take lobelia as a sedative to help them relax. Other people use it to increase sweating.

Lobelia is applied to the skin for muscle pain, joint lumps associated with rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatic nodules), bruises, sprains, insect bites, poison ivy, and ringworm.

In manufacturing, lobelia is used in cough preparations and counterirritant products. Some stop-smoking products around the world include lobelia as an ingredient. But since 1993, manufacturers have not been allowed to include lobelia in stop-smoking products sold in the U.S. That’s when research found that lobelia doesn’t make stop-smoking products any more effective.

How does it work?

Lobelia contains chemicals that might thin mucus (phlegm) to make it easier to cough up (expectorate) and help breathing, especially in people with asthma. One chemical in lobelia has actions similar to nicotine.

Traditionally used for

Asthma.
Bronchitis.
Cough.
Use on the skin for muscle soreness, bruises, sprains, insect bites, poison ivy, ringworm, and other conditions.

Dosage

The appropriate dose of lobelia depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lobelia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Possible Side Effects

Lobelia is considered LIKELY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, dizziness, tremors, and more serious effects.

Overdose may cause many serious toxic effects including sweating, convulsions, fast heartbeat, very low blood pressure, collapse, coma, and possibly death. Taking 0.6-1 gram of the leaf is said to be toxic, and 4 grams may be fatal.

Not enough is known about the safety of applying lobelia to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to take lobelia by mouth. The particular concern during pregnancy is that it can cause serious vomiting. Don’t take lobelia if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Stomach or intestinal problems including ulcers, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, infections, and others: Lobelia can irritate the GI tract.

Heart disease: Lobelia seems to affect the heart. Larger doses cause more of an effect.

View full details