Lobelia is a genus of flowering plants that includes more than 300 species. Some varieties have been used in traditional medicine for their properties. One of the most used is the one with the scientific name of Lobelia inflates, although it is not the only one with medicinal properties.
There are some studies of scientific relevance that ensure that it can reduce asthmatic processes, is related to reducing depression and other problems related to inflammation.
This study aims to investigate the medicinal properties of the plant genus Lobelia through the main research of medical relevance.
Features of Lobelia
Lobelia is a group of flowering plants that houses between 360 and 400 species whose origin is North America. Of so many species, the one that is best regarded for its properties is Lobelia inflates.
Many years ago, New England Native Americans used this smoked plant to reduce the feeling of vomiting or treat the initial processes of asthma. Therefore, there are bibliographic records of that at that time Lobelia it was known as vomiting grass or Indian tobacco.
Currently Lobelia inflates it has been investigated for its activity against various ailments, one of them as well known as depression. Studies have found different properties of the main compound of the plant, lobeline. [See study]
This plant can currently be used in the form of an infusion, using tablets or liquid extracts. The leaves, seeds and flowers are used for preparations.
Medicinal properties of Lobelia
The presence of alkaloids such as lobeline offers several beneficial health effects.
1. Antioxidant activity
In the Lobelia plant there are several interesting alkaloid components in medicine. In the species Lobelia cardinalis one of them, known as lobinaline, has been found, especially interesting for its antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants are compounds that reduce the presence of free radicals, oxidizing and very reactive substances that can cause cell damage and increase the risk of disease.
Lobinaline promotes the reduction of these free radicals and improves brain signaling pathways. [Information additional]
These effects have been investigated to study the evolution of various diseases, such as Parkinson’s. More trials and truthful conclusions are now needed in order to reach conclusions.
2. Reduces asthma symptoms
The plant Lobelia it is occasionally used in support with current medications to relieve asthma-related symptoms (irrepressible cough, burning, and chest tightness).
The alkaloid lobelin has relaxing activity of the airways, facilitating the elimination of mucus in the airways. Therefore, it is also used to relieve bronchitis or pneumonia processes, and is also valid for any respiratory problem.
Trials in mice have concluded that lobeline favors the secretion of inflammatory proteins, reducing inflammation processes and lung injury. [See study]
Despite this, more proven research on humans is needed.
3. Relief from depressive states
Lobeline has activity to block several brain receptors that are related to depressive states. Therefore, it can protect against mood swings and depression. [See study]
Trials conducted in mice showed that the compound lobelin present in the Lobelia plant greatly reduced depressive behavior and blood stress hormone levels. In turn, it can be used together with usual antidepressant medications to increase its effect. [See study]
Today, it is considered an interesting tool, but scientific evidence is lacking so that it can replace current medications or be used as an alternative treatment against depression.
4. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Lobelia extract may improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In general, activity has been demonstrated against hyperactivity and lack of concentration to the libTo facilitate the assimilation of dopamine in the brain. [See study]
However, the processes related to ADHD are very complex and more research is needed in humans.
5. Lobelia can help you quit smoking
The effect of the alkaloid lobelin present in the Lobelia plant has similar action to nicotine, so it has been studied with interest as a tool to help eliminate smoking.
Scientific studies indicate that lobeline acts by interacting with brain receptors responsible for the release of addiction-related neurotransmitters. [See study]
In some cases, the results have drawn different conclusions, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not consider it an effective tool for quitting smoking.
Currently, research is still being done with different doses to find a satisfactory pattern that helps to collaborate with the current ones. medications to quit smoking.
Recommended Dosage of Lobelia and Possible Side Effects
Currently there is a lack of information about the Lobelia plant, at least to conclude with a standard dose and its possible side effects.
Against ADHD, the dose of 30 mg of lobeline daily was found to be safe and significantly functional. However, there were cases of mild side effects such as nausea and mouth numbness.
At high doses, Lobelia can become toxic, although really high amounts are needed.
This plant should not be used or consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women or children, due to lack of research.
Currently there are Supplements based on Lobalia that are used, but many of them are not regulated by the health authorities and should be consumed with caution.