name = "Lobelia"
image_width = 270px
image_caption = "Lobelia erinus"
genus = "Lobelia"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.
"Lobelia" is a
genusof flowering plantcomprising 360–400 species, with a subcosmopolitan distribution primarily in tropical to warm temperate regions of the world, a few species extending into cooler temperate regions.Huxley, A., ed. (1992). "New RHS Dictionary of Gardening". Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.] English names include Lobelia, Asthma Weed, Indian Tobacco, Pukeweed, and Vomitwort.
Some botanists place the genus and its relatives in the separate family
Lobeliaceae, others as a subfamily Lobelioideaewithin the Campanulaceae. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Groupdid not make a firm decision in this, listing the genus under both families.
"Lobelia" is probably the base form from which many other lobelioid genera are derived; it is therefore highly
paraphyleticand not a good genus. For example, the Hawaiian species are part of a group including other genera that appear very different (see Hawaiian lobelioids). However, the group has not yet been studied adequately to rearrange the classification.Fact|date=October 2007
"Lobelia" species are used as food plants by the
larvae of some Lepidopteraspecies including the Setaceous Hebrew Character.
The genus is named after the Belgian botanist
Matthias de Lobel(1538–1616).
Cultivation and uses
Several species are cultivated as
ornamental plants in gardens. These include " Lobelia cardinalis" (Cardinal Flower or Indian Pink), " Lobelia siphilitica" (Blue Lobelia), " Lobelia fulgens" and " Lobelia erinus", as well as some hybrids.
"Lobelia erinus", a South African
annual plantthat includes many cultivated selections in a wide variety of colours. They are grown in beds, large pots, window boxes and in hanging baskets. The plants are most often grown away from sunny hot southern exposures (northern exposure's in the southern hemisphere) in soils that are moisture retentive.
In the Victorian
language of flowers, the lobelia symbolizes malevolence and ill will.
Native Americans used lobelia to treat respiratory and muscle disorders, and as a
purgative. Today it is used to treat asthmaand food poisoning, and is often used as part of smoking cessation programs. It is a physical relaxant, and can serve as a nerve depressant, easing tension and panic. The species used most commonly in modern herbalism is " Lobelia inflata" (Indian Tobacco).cite web | url = http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=2e7354b6-ae71-4dab-90df-c7026eb1c66f&chunkiid=111703 | title = Lobelia | publisher = EBSCO Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Review Board | month = January | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2007-09-12]
Extracts of "Lobelia inflata" contain
lobeline, which showed positive effects in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18222670?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Lobeline, a piperidine alkaloid from Lobelia can r... [Phytomedicine. 2008 - PubMed Result ] ] Furthermore, lobeline can be modified to lobelane which decreased methamphetamineself-administration in rats. [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17612524?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Lobelane decreases methamphetamine self-administra... [Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 - PubMed Result ] ] It therefore opens a perspective in methamphetamine dependency treatment. [ [http://www.berlinonline.de/berliner-zeitung/archiv/.bin/dump.fcgi/2006/0216/wissenschaft/0001/index.html Eine explosive Droge : Textarchiv : Berliner Zeitung Archiv ] ]
As used in North America, lobelia's medicinal properties include the following: emetic (induces vomiting), stimulant, antispasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, relaxant, nauseant, sedative, diuretic, and nervine.
Because of its similarity to
nicotine, the internal use of lobelia may be dangerous to susceptible populations, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with cardiac disease. Excessive use will cause nausea and vomiting. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women and is best administered by a practitioner qualified in its use.
Two species, "
Lobelia siphilitica" and " Lobelia cardinalis", were considered a cure for syphilis[Guédon, Marie-Françoise (2000). "Sacred Smudging in North America". Walkabout Press.] .
Samuel Thompsonpopularized medicinal use of lobelia in the United States in the early 19th century, as well as other medicinal plants like goldenseal.
One species, "L. chinensis" (called "bàn biān lián", in Chinese), is used as one of the fifty fundamental herbs in
traditional Chinese medicine.
Cite book |last=Everitt |first=J.H. |coauthors=Lonard, R.L., Little, C.R. |title=Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico |publisher=Texas Tech University Press |location=Lubbock |year=2007 ISBN 0-89672-614-2
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