Natural Order. Lobeliaceae. Common names. Indian Tobacco. Puke Root. Habitat. An indigenous annual plant found growing on road- sides and in neglected fields. Preparation. Tincture from the fresh plant.
Acts upon the cerebro-spinal system, especially on the pneumogastric nerve, producing profound prostration, a depressed relaxed condition of the system, oppression of the chest, impeded respiration and deglutition, together with epigastric oppression, nausea, and vomiting, finally paralyzing the pneumogastric, and causing failure of the heart and respiration, collapse and death. In small doses it produces spasms of the larynx and bronchi, and hence in useful in spasmodic conditions of those parts, especially when accompanied by nausea.
Head. Vertigo with nausea (Alumina, Antim crud., Cocc.). Dull, heavy pain passing around the forehead from one temple to the other. Pressive pain on left side of occiput; worse at night and from motion.
Mouth. Copious discharge of saliva (Iodi., Iris, Mercurius). Sharp, disagreeable, taste in the mouth, especially at tip of tongue and back of throat.
Throat. Sensation as if the oesophagus were contracted from below upward. Sensation as of a lump in pit of throat (Belladonna, Lachesis). Mucus in throat, causing frequent necessity to hawk.
Stomach. Loss of appetite, with acrid, burning taste in the mouth (Arsenicum). Acidity of the stomach , with a contractive feeling in the pit of stomach. Flatulent eructations (Carb. v., Cinchona, Phosphorus). Incessant, violent nausea (Ant. tart., Ipecac., Digit.). Nausea in the morning disappears after a swallow of water. Nausea, with cold perspiration on the heat (Tabac., Veratrum alb.). Nausea, with indescribable pain, heat, oppression, and excessive uneasiness about the stomach. Heartburn and running of water from the mouth, and oppression (Arsenicum). Feeling of weakness at the epigastrium with qualmishness and oppression of the chest (Arsenicum). Oppression of epigastrium, as it too full. Burning in the stomach (Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Cantharis, Mez.).
Respiratory Organs. Extremely difficult breathing, caused by constriction of the chest (Arsenicum, Phosphorus). Oppression of breathing.
Pulse. Pulse small; and weak.
Urinary Organs. Urine deposits a rosy-red sediment, with crystals of uric acid.
Generalities. Great prostration and weariness.
Aggravation. From cold, especially cold washing.
Amelioration. Toward evening.
Conditions. Light hair, blue eyes, fair complexion; inclined to be fleshy.
Compare. Arsenicum, Ant. tart., Cocc., Digit., Ipecac., Tabac., Veratrum alb. after Ant. tart. and Ipecac. fail in morning sickness. Hering.
The chief use of Lobelia has been in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory tract when accompanied by nausea, vomiting, great prostration, oppression of the chest and dyspnoea; asthma; bronchitis; capillary bronchitis; spasmodic croup; whooping cough; emphysema; spasmodic cough, etc., during phthisis. Sometimes an efficient palliative in heart disease. Has been successfully used in gastralgia and dyspepsia characterized by heartburn, weakness at epigastrium, deathly nausea, oppression of chest, etc. Morning sickness of pregnancy. Intussusception of bowels. Incarcerated hernia. Has been used in quotidian type of intermittent fever with characteristic Lobelia symptoms. Rheumatism. “Lobelia is, to the bad effects from drunkenness in people with light hair, blue or gray eyes, florid complexion, fat or corpulent, what Nux vomica is to people of opposite temperament.”.