Herb latin name: Lobelia radicans
Synonyms: Lobelia chinensis
Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)
Medicinal use of Lobelia radicans:This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The whole plant is antiphlogistic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of sores and abscesses, poisonous snakebites, tooth abscesses, ascites and traumatic injuries. The fresh plant can also be crushed and used as a poultice. The root is antirheumatic, antisyphilitic, cathartic, depurative and diuretic.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Wet places, especially around paddy fields and in lowland all over Japan.
Propagation of Lobelia radicans:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes.
Cultivation of the herb:Wet places, especially around paddy fields and in lowland all over Japan.
Known hazards of Lobelia radicans:The plant contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.