The Indian Tobacco, Lobelia inflata L., known also as Wild Tobacco, Asthma-weed, Gad-root and Lobelia, is used in medicine for asthma and similar diseases. Its effects are similar to those caused by somewhat smaller amounts of tobacco. Overdoses produce prostration, stupor, coma, convulsions, and death.

It grows in fields as far west as Saskatchewan, and is an erect, branching, hairy annual. The leaves are toothed, the upper ones being very small and bract-like. The small blue flowers have an ovoid calyx-tube inflated in fruit. The corolla is irregular, as in all members of the genus Lobelia, the upper lip being two lobed, and the lower spreading and three-cleft.

Fig. 40.   Indian Tobacco

Fig. 40. - Indian Tobacco - Lobelia inflata.