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small lobelia engravingLobelia inflata
Indian tobacco
This annual plant native to eastern North America is associated with the Element of Water and the planetary rulership of Neptune on account of its ability to facilitate a dreamy, relaxed state, because it is an expectorant, and because it is used in storm magick. Its prominent ovaries (the "inflata") make it a very female plant and for that reason it is often incorporated into spells for love magick. Growing this magick herb is said to attract winged Fae to one's yard. Some Native Americans used it for purification. In the language of flowers, lobelia means malevolence. Top

Lobelia has a long history of use by various peoples as a nervine, anti-asthematic, expectorant, emetic, and as a tobacco substitute (it actually works on nicotine receptors as a nicotine antagonist, although it contains no nicotine). Both Native Americans and Eclectic medicine recommended it be smoked for asthma. It is considered the most powerful of all the various types of lobelia and can be dangerous when used stupidly. Do not eat. This plant is also known as Rapuntium inflatum, Pukeweed, Asthma Weed, Gagroot, Vomitwort, and Bladderpod. Top

How to grow lobelia. This annual plant is unusual because the seeds need light to germinate rather than darkness. Sprinkle fine seed on the surface of wet soil and just barely tamp in with your fingertip. Only water from beneath (see general growing info). You can also use a light mist to water them. Germinates in 2-3 weeks. Pot up when it is three months old, and set out at 8-12" apart when transplanting. The plant likes rich soil and full sun or part shade. This is a slow-growing plant. It forms a rosette and then "bolts," producing a one-foot stalk with small flowers. Harvest when seed pods are just beginning to develop; wear gloves. Dry out of direct sun in a well ventilated place. This plant dries quickly when harvested. Top

Lobelia inflata
Indian Tobacco
100 seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Rain Magick
Love Magick
Faery Favorite
Elemental Magick (Water)
Neptune Herb

2004, 2018 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission