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---Medicinal Action and Uses---Expectorant, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic. It should not be employed as an emetic. (Herbalists, who use lobelia far more than the ordinary practitioners, nearly always prescribe it in doses large enough to prove emetic, and regard it as of greater value thus used. - EDITOR.) Some authorities attach great value to it as an expectorant in bronchitis, others as a valuable counterirritant when combined with other ingredients in ointment form. It is sometimes given in convulsive and inflammatory disorders such as epilepsy, tetanus, diphtheria and tonsilitis. There is also difference of opinion with regard to its narcotic properties. Where relaxation of the system is required, as, for instance, to subdue spasm, Lobelia is invaluable. Relaxation can be counteracted by the stimulating and tonic infusion of capsicum. It may be used as an enema. Externally, an infusion has been found useful in ophthalmia, and the tincture can be used as a local application for sprains, bruises, or skin diseases, alone, or in powder combined with an equal part of slippery elm bark and weak lye-water in a poultice. The oil of Lobelia is valuable in tetanus. One drop of oil triturated with one scruple of sugar, and divided into from 6 to 12 doses, is useful as an expectorant, nauseant, sedative, and diaphoretic, when given every one or two hours.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Powdered bark, 5 to 60 grains. Fluid extract, 10 to 20 drops. Acid tincture, 1 to 4 drachms. Tincture, U.S.P., 1 to 4 drachms. Etherial tincture, B.P., 5 to 15 drops. Syrup, 1 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 2 to 4 grains. Oil of seed, 1 drop rubbed up with 20 grains of ginger and divided into 6 to 12 doses. Lobelin, 1/4 to 3 grains. Acetum Lobellae (Vinegar of Lobelia). Lobelia seed powder, 4 OZ. Diluted acetic acid, 2 pints. Macerate in a close glass vessel for seven days, then express the liquor, filter, and add to the filtered product alcohol, or concentrated acetic acid, 1 fluid ounce. The whole should measure 2 pints. This medicated vinegar may also be prepared by percolation. It is an emetic, nauseant, and expectorant, and a valuable relaxant in spasmodic affections. A good application in such skin diseases as salt-rheum, erysipelas, poisoning by rhus, etc. As an expectorant, 5 to 30 drops every half-hour in elm or flaxseed infusion. One part of Vinegar of Lobelia to 1 part of syrup forms a pleasant preparation for children.