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Lobelia Helps You Breathe Easier
Lobelia stimulates stronger breather by stimulating the brain's respiratory center. It was used by Native Americans to treat respiratory disorders, and is of particular benefit to asthmatic children. Traditionally, it has been used as an antiasthmatic, and to treat whooping cough and other conditions of the respiratory tract.
Lobelia relaxes the muscles and helps clear obstructions in the airway, and is also used as an expectorant and emetic. Due to its relaxing nature it is used as a sedative and to relieve tension, and because it appears in some cases to have the same effect as nicotine, many believe it a good natural remedy to stop smoking. Unfortunately it has no such proven effect and improvement in smoking habits might be purely placebo effects.
However, there are no doubts that it is useful for asthmatics to keep some lobelia in their medicine cabinet in case their inhaler has run out or lost. Do not use it in place of regular treatment for asthma, but as an emergency treatment should one become necessary.
Using Lobelia for Respiratory Disorders
Lobelia has a relaxing effect on muscles, including those of the respiratory tract. It can therefore be uses to relieve spasms, such as those that occur during spasmodic asthma and some other conditions such as whooping cough. In fact, lobelia has been traditionally used for such conditions for centuries by Native Americans and other cultures. The Europeans took lobelia back home from America as a cure for many illnesses such diarrhea, ulcers, inflammations and croup and other respiratory problems.
However, lobelia is also a stimulant and can stimulate vomiting, for which reason it is used as an emetic. Its action is dependent upon dosage, and while low dosages act as a relaxant, high dosages act as a stimulant and an emetic. The most active component in this regard is believed to be the piperidine alkaloids lobeline, lobelanine and derivatives such as norlobelanine. Never use lobelia as a treatment for asthma without your doctor knowing.
Lobeline is believed to act on the chemoreceptors in the glomus caroticus. This is a small organ branching of the carotid artery that detects a reduction in oxygen or increase in carbon dioxide in the blood supply to the brain, and initiates deeper breathing to compensate. Lobeline initiates this effect on the glomus caroticus and so induces deeper and easier breathing.