Lobelia, also known as Indian tobacco, is a genus in the plant family Campanulaceae. Lobeline, a chemical in lobelia, has been used to induce emesis (vomiting) and improve lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Lobelia has been nicknamed "pukeweed" for its vomit-inducing effects.
According to some research, lobeline has similar effects to nicotine, and it has been added to smoking cessation aids. It is unclear whether lobeline is effective for this use.
All parts of the lobelia plant are potentially toxic. Eating lobelia has caused death in cattle and horses. It is not listed on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list, due to possible adverse effects, including respiratory stimulation (increased breathing), low blood pressure, and even death.
Alpha-lobeline, asthma weed, beta-amyrin palmitate, bladderpod, Campanulaceae (family), cardinal flower, DIPSTOPTM, gagroot, Indian tobacco, L. cardinalis, Lobelia cardinalis, Lobelia chinensis Lour., Lobelia dortmanna spp., Lobelia erinus, Lobelia giberroa, Lobelia inflata spp., Lobelia laxiflora L., Lobelia nicotinifolia, Lobelia polyphylla, Lobelia portoricensis Urban, Lobelia radicans Thumb., Lobelia sessilifolia, Lobelia siphilitica spp., Lobelia spicata, Lobelia suavibracteata, Lobelia tupa, Lobelia urens L., lobeline, lobeline sulphate, Lobelioideae, lophilacrin, lophilin, lurenine, moradilla, norlobelanidine, pukeweed, radicamine A, radicamine B, syphilobin, tupa, vomitwort.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Early studies investigated the use of lobeline for smoking cessation. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.