Herbal Cigarettes and/or Lobelia inflata(indian tobacco)


Overview Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), also called Indian tobacco, has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Historically, Native Americans smoked lobelia as a treatment for asthma. In the 19th century, American physicians prescribed lobelia to induce vomiting in order remove toxins from the body. Because of this, it earned the name "puke weed." Today, lobelia is sometimes suggested to help clear mucus from the respiratory tract, including the throat, lungs, and bronchial tubes. Although few studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of lobelia, some herbalists today use lobelia as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for asthma.

Scientists think an active ingredient in the lobelia plant, lobeline, has similar effects to nicotine. For this reason, lobeline was once used as a nicotine substitute in many antismoking products and preparations designed to break the smoking habit. In 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the sale of smoking products containing lobeline. The FDA reported that such products were not effective in helping people quit or reduce smoking.

Researchers now think that lobeline may actually reduce the effects of nicotine in the body, particularly the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that plays a number of important roles in the brain. It is also involved in drug addiction, so researchers think that lobeline may have some potential in treating addiction. So far, however, there have been no studies to determine whether lobeline is effective.

Lobelia is a potentially toxic herb. It can be safely used in small doses (particularly homeopathic doses), but moderate-to-large doses may cause side effects ranging from dry mouth and nausea to convulsions and even coma (see "Precautions" section). You should use lobelia only under the supervision of your health care provider.

Plant Description Lobelia is an attractive annual or sometimes biennial (reseeding every year or 2) herb that grows to a height of 3 feet. Its upright, hairy stem is angular, branching at the top, usually green with a tinge of violet. The pale green or yellowish leaves have a sharp taste and a slightly irritating odor. The sparse flowers are pale violet blue outside and pale yellow inside.

Parts Used The above-ground portions of the lobelia plant (namely the leaves and seeds) are used for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Uses and Indications Few studies have examined at the effect of lobelia in either animals or people. It is sometimes suggested (usually in combination with other herbs) for the treatment of the following respiratory problems:




In homeopathy, lobelia is also used alone or with other products for smoking cessation, muscle relaxation, nausea, vomiting, skin infections (bites, bruises, poison ivy, and ringworm), and various respiratory illnesses.

8 Replies

  • I have no idea - but personally I wouldn't use/take anything that isn't regulated - as Karri said.

  • I wonder if it works for colds?:rolleyes: I don't get many but I'd take anything to get rid of the one I've had for almost a week. My nose feels like it's ready to drop off. lol.:mad:

  • You need to be wrapped up in a snuggly blanket on the sofa, chocs and a DVD. Mind you, that's my answer to anything that leaves me 1 degree under (except I try to catch up with something I've recorded). Here's to a more comfortable nose!

  • certainly agree with chickweed, you forgot the kisses & hugs, I have a great cuddly teddy bear at home, he is great for that (my son)

  • groushas, I don't want to sound critical, but it sounds to me as if you're looking for something alternative to smoke. Forget it - stopping smoking means just what it says. You don't see non-smokers contemplating dabbling in herbal cigarettes, and if you're serious about quitting, neither should you.

    You need to think long and hard about why you still want to smoke - try and write down a list. Maybe you'll include things like:

    - I enjoy it

    - It helps me relax

    - It helps me concentrate

    ... etc.

    But if you think about it, smoking does none of these things - the only thing it does is relieve the withdrawal pangs caused by your last cigarette. By giving you this relief, you may gain the impression that it is helping you relax / concentrate or whatever, but the absolute truth is that this impression, in reality, is an illusion.

    I've seen people say 'I don't drink, I don't do drugs, but smoking is my one pleasure'. Well sorry, but these people are doing drugs; they are complete slaves to one of the most addictive drugs in the world. We are socially conditioned to view tobacco use as acceptable (admittedly less so these days) whilst other drugs are not acceptable - but strip away that conditioning, ignore what society at large views as acceptable, and what's the difference? Nothing. We are all drug addicts, and so if we are to succeed in beating this drug we have to play by the rules of addiction.

    I don't know if you've tried these products yet, but I can more or less guarantee they will do absolutely nothing for you - you won't get that 'hit' that you get from a normal cigarette containing nicotine, and you'll probably find they taste pretty revolting too. So back to my question - why do you still want to smoke? - surely the ultimate answer, the only answer, is to enjoy the relief that nicotine gives you - relief from the withdrawal caused by nicotine.

    It is the perfect con-trick - it solves the problem it created in the first place.

    See it for the lie that it is, accept that you may be in for a rough ride for three weeks (though so many quitters will tell you it wasn't nearly as bad as they had feared, once they made that final decision and got on with it), and cut the chains of slavery for good. Never doubt that you can do it - every long term quitter, at the start of their quit, stood at the bottom of a very deep well and could see no way out, but they did it, and so can you. Go for it, and never look back!

  • Great post! So true that it really summarises the all process in a few sentences! So true!

  • Good to see you're still around Eggy - so many of the others I knew have disappeared off the scene, probably quit for ever unlike me who's still on their umpteenth attempt.

    As always you are the voice of reason and tell it like it is - why indeed do any of us still feel we need to smoke? I've asked myself that many times and answered the question probably the same as you would - we don't! I know that and yet I'm still here and a month into what I'm hoping will be my freedom from the drug legally sold as nicotine.

    It's willpower and common sense that's all. I used to think I had that in abundance and yet I've secretly smoked for years - too ashamed to tell anyone that I was still doing it as everyone I know had the sense to give up years ago.

    We all make excuses - it's hard, I'm stressed. We look for substitutes but there's no substitute or magic wand that really works (we may think they help and there are plenty of substitutes out there ) but really we don't need them.

    All we have to do is say "No" and mean it.

    I aim to make this my final quit and I mean it this time.

    So good to see you back.

  • Thanks all for you great comments.... Yes I agree with you .... an egg is an egg..... smoking is smoking....and I escape from it thus I am A SMOKE FREE Person

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