INDIAN TOBACCO–PUKE ROOT–ASTHMA ROOT.
Lobelia, named after Mathias de L`Obel, a French botanist, is a wide-spread American plant and was smoked by our Indians for its relaxing effect.
There are two other Lobelias, the red, Lobelia cardinalis, and the blue, Lobelia syphilitica, which have had slight provings. This one, which is officinal in the old school Pharmacopoeia, was first proved by Dr. Jeanes, of this country.
Lobelia had its greatest repute in the Botanic practice being recommended, says Millspaugh, “for almost every disease known, and has proved curative in some cases, palliative in more, useless in many, and a deadly poison in more cases than one.”
It is used by the Eclectics, either alone or in many combinations.
Quoting from Allen’s Handbook, we find that it “produces, in large doses, most violent vomiting, and profound prostration, failure of the heart and respiration, collapse and fatal stupor; it paralyzes the pneumogastric and vaso-motor nerves. Its most important action in smaller doses is laryngeal and bronchial spasm, hence it is very useful in various spasmodic diseases of the respiratory apparatus attended with deathly nausea.”
There is a sensation of sinking of goneness at the pit of the stomach (179), with faintness and “deathly sick feeling all over” (Hering), associated with nausea, vomiting and cold sweat (185). With these symptoms Lobelia is of value in gastralgia, dyspepsia, Hale saying “most useful in the dyspepsia due to excessive use of green tea (7), tobacco and bad liquor,” and of great value in the nausea and vomiting or pregnancy (153), one case where it gave great relief being aggravated by the sight or smell of food.
Lobelia is of value in bronchitis, asthma (19), true or spasmodic, and in spasmodic croup, with great suffocation and oppression of the chest (29), and sensation as if the chest were full of blood (27), which seems to stagnate, “better moving about” (Allen), although Dr. Jeanes says the dyspnoea is “aggravated by the slightest exertion.”
Frequently there is a sensation of lump in the throat which impedes respiration (25). Accompanying the respiratory troubles we have nausea and vomiting.
I use Lobelia in the tincture.