Botanical Name: Lobelia inflata | Family: Campanulacaeae

Common name(s): Lobelia, Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed


  • Annual / Biennial | zones 6-9 | 1-2 feet | pale violet-blue flowers, tinted pale yellow within, from July – August
  • Found in open woods and fields and along roadsides. It’s common in the Eastern United States – west to Arkansas and eastern Kansas, south to Georgia.
  • Dry soil


  • The whole plant, including the seed pods, should be collected after flowering (between August and September)


Infusion: 1 cup boiling water onto 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Tincture: take 1/2 – 1ml of tincture 3x/day.


Constituents: Various alkaloids including lobeline (the seeds contain the most amount), which has similar effects to nicotine; bitter glycosides; volatile oil; resins; gum

Actions: expectorant, stimulant, antispasmodic, anit-asthmatic, emetic, one of the most useful systemic relaxants available.

Uses: asthma, spasmodic coughs, spasms and tetany, food poisoning (vomit), catalyst for other herbs in a formula

Combinations: combines well with Cayenne, Grindelia, Pill-bearing Spurge, Sundew and Ephedra in treating asthma


  • Bitter, neutral


I have an heirloom variety I planted down by the stream because it likes the shade. I also think it’s a perennial. I’ll find out, I guess. But it’s not the medicinal lobelia.