Jo Francks, M.H.

Lobelia is one of my favorite herbs to use because it is so versatile. It is great on its own and when combined with other herbs. Lobelia is the one to make the other 

herbs work so much better because it is the thinking herb. When I suggest it to people they seem to be on the cautious side and say something like, “Won’t it make me throw up?”

One of lobelia’s common names is puke weed because if someone takes enough of it, it will cause vomiting. Honestly, I have never taken enough lobelia to make me throw up.

Samuel Thompson brought lobelia into medicinal light. He used to give it to his friends as a joke and watch them puke. He also noticed that after it cleaned someone out they felt a lot better. He used it as the herb of choice for many ailments. Dr. Christopher also knew the virtues of lobelia and used it in many of his formulas and on its own.

Lobelia is a very powerful nervine and antispasmodic. My first use of it was to stop a spasmodic cough in an infant. 1 drop of the extract in the mouth and the coughing stopped immediately. I use it now to stop dry coughing and hacking. A few drops, 4 to 6, taken orally stops the unnecessary coughing and when you do cough it is productive and helps to remove the mucus in the lungs. It helps reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes caused by an extreme dry cough.

Menstrual Cramps
Another way to use lobelia is to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. Remember lobelia is a strong nervine and antispasmodic, so it is very effective for any type of muscle cramping. I recommend using a dropperful of the extract at the first sign of cramps or before they come on. This is usually enough. However, if they get too bad then another dropperful should be taken 10 minutes after the first dose, and sometimes a third after 10 more minutes. Usually no more than 3 doses are needed. It is important to use an herbal stimulant when using lobelia since it is quite relaxing. A cup of peppermint tea or even a cayenne capsule will do the trick.

Asthma Weed
Dr. Christopher used lobelia when his patients were having severe asthma attacks. His first measure was to give a strong cup of peppermint tea to prepare the muscles in the abdomen for what was coming next. Then after 20 minutes, he would administer a teaspoon of lobelia tincture. At the same time he was gathering some large pans. At 10 minute intervals he would give a teaspoon of the tincture and usually after the third dose the patient would begin to vomit. This is what the pans were for. The patient would expel all the mucus from their lungs that was keeping them from breathing and causing the asthma attacks. Dr. Christopher often made the comment that this treatment worked best when the asthma attack was extremely severe.

These are just a few of the ways lobelia has been used in our family and by others. We have been blessed so much by the wonderful qualities of the herbs God has created.

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch Practitioner.