Lobelia inflata,


The dried leaves and flowering tops, with not more than 10 p. c. of stems, foreign matter.

Habitat. N. America (Canada, United States), in fields and open places.

Syn. Lobel., Indian Tobacco, Wild Tobacco, Green, Brown, Bladder-podded Lobelia, Emetic Herb (Weed), Asthma (Puke) Weed, Gag Root, Vomit Wort, Low Belia, Eyebright; Fr. Lobe1ie enflee; Ger. Herba Lobeliae, Lobelienkraut.

Lo-be'li-a. L. after Matthias de Lobel, Flemish botanist, physician, and author of several botanical works, 1538-1616, native of Lille, became physician and botanist to James I., died in London.

In-fla'ta. L. inflatus, inflated, swollen - i. e., seeds are borne in egg-shaped inflated pod.

Plant. - Annual herb, .3-6 M. (1-2°) high, erect, paniculately branched; stem cylindrical, coarsely and irregularly furrowed, yellowish green, occasionally purplish, pubescent with numerous spreading hairs; root fibrous. Leaves, alternate, ovate, oblong, 2-9 Cm. (4/5-3 3/5') long, sessile or narrowing into a short petiole, obtusely toothed, irregularly serrate-denticulate, each tooth with a yellowish-brown, glandlike apex; pale green with scattered, bristly hairs; flowers blue, long, loose racemes with short pedicels, calyx tube ovoid with 5 subulate teeth, corolla tubular, 3-4 Mm. (1/8-1/6') long, 5-parted, the upper 2-lobed portion cleft nearly to the base; stamens with anthers united above into a curved tube enclosing the bifid stigmas; capsules inflated, ovoid, ellipsoidal, 5-8 Mm. (1/5-1/3') long, light brown, inferior, enclosing numerous coarsely reticulate seeds; odor slight; taste strongly acrid. Powder, dark green, odor irritating; microscopically - fragments of seed-coat, occasionally non-glandular hairs, stem with tracheae, leaf epidermis with elliptical stomata, pollen grains; ash 8 p. c. Loses on drying 75 p. c. Solvents: diluted alcohol; boiling water. Dose, expectorant, gr. 1-5 (.06-.3 Gm.); emetic, gr. 10-20 (.6-1.3 Gm.).

Fig. 407.   Lobelia inflata.

Fig. 407. - Lobelia inflata.

Lobelia Lobelia 792Fig. 408.   Lobelia flower and section: magnified 5 diam.

Fig. 408. - Lobelia flower and section: magnified 5 diam.

Adulterations. - Rare - except its own stems and roots.

Commercial. - Lobelia was popular with the. North American Indians, but Dr. Cutler, of Massachusetts, introduced it into our medical practice. It should be collected Aug.-Sept., carefully dried, and sold loosely or in various-sized compressed packages; powder keeps well.

Constituents. - Lobeline, Lobelacrin, Lobelic acid, Inflatin, a second alkaloid (?), resin, wax, volatile oil (lobelianin), fixed oil 30 p. c, gum, ash 8 p. c.

Lobeline. - Obtained by evaporating to syrup the acetic-alcoholic tincture (preferably of seeds), triturating this with magnesium oxide in excess, agitating filtrate with ether, evaporating, getting impure alkaloid. It is a yellow, aromatic liquid, acrid taste, convertible into amorphous powder and non-crystalline salts (hydrobromide, sulphate, etc.) soluble in water. Dose (sulphate), gr. 1/6-l (.01-.06 Gm.).

Lobelacrin. - Obtained by concentrating tincture in the presence of charcoal, washing with water, exhausting with boiling alcohol; it is the acrid principle - possibly lobelate of lobeline, brown, soluble in ether or chloroform, splitting with dilute acids or alkalies into sugar and lobelic acid.

Lobelic Acid. - Obtained by precipitating decoction of leaves with copper sulphate, and decomposing with hydrogen sulphide; it is colored olive-brown by ferric salts.

Inflatin. - Neutral principle (wax), tasteless crystals, no medicinal value.

Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Lobelioe. Fluidextract of Lobelia. (Syn., Fldext. Lobel., Fluid Extract of Lobelia; Fr. Extrait fluide de Lobelie; Ger. Lobelienkrautfluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Ergotae, page 60; 1st menstruum: alcohol 50 Ml. (Cc), water 45, acetic acid 5; 2nd menstruum: diluted alcohol. Dose, ej-5 - 20 (.06-3 - 1.3 Ml. (Cc.)). 2. Tinctura Lobelia. Tincture of Lobelia. (Syn., Tr. Lobel.; Fr. Teinture de Lobelie; Ger. Lobelientinktur.)

Manufacture: 10 p. c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 101; menstruum: diluted alcohol. Dose, ev-30 - 60 (.3-2 - 4 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff, Preps.: Acetum, 10 p. c, dose, ev-60 (.3-4 Ml. (Cc.)). Extract, dose, gr. 1/2-2 (.03-. 13 Gm.). Infusion, dose, ℥ss-l (15-30 Ml. (Cc.)). Tinctura Lobelioe AEtherea (Br.), 20 p. c. (spirit of ether), dose, ev-15 (.3-1 Ml. (Cc.)). The "Eclectic" lobelin, made in the usual way, is an impure resinoid, dose, gr. 1/2-1 (.03-.06 Gm.).

Properties. - Expectorant, emetic, nervine, purgative, flarcotic, diuretic, diaphoretic; similar to ipecac, but causes more distressing nausea and intense prostration; it paralyzes the motor nerves, vasomotor centre, and peripheral vagi. Leaves chewed a short time cause giddiness, headache, tremors, nausea, vomiting; full doses give speedy and severe vomiting, general relaxation, cold skin with sweating; resembles tobacco, is dangerous, having caused many deaths.

Uses. - Spasmodic asthma, catarrh, bronchial spasms, whooping-cough, in enema for intussusception, strangulated hernia, constipation; externally for poison-ivy (oak) eczema. Should not be given as an emetic, and is too depressing for children.

Poisoning: Have burning pain in fauces, oesophagus, motor weakness, great depression, feeble pulse, low temperature, anxious, livid countenance, contracted pupils, vertigo, tremors, cold sweat, pale skin, sometimes violent purging, collapse, stupor, coma, death from respiratory failure. Place in recumbent position, empty stomach if vomiting has not been free, give tannin, cardiac and respiratory stimulants, strychnine, picrotoxin, thebaine, alcohol, digitalis, atropine or belladonna, digitalis, morphine, artificial heat, ergot, castor oil.

Incompatibles: Strychnine, picrotoxin; caustic alkalies decompose loin-line, making preparations inert.

Synergists: Emetics, motor depressants.

Allied Plants: