Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is a short-lived perennial and a member of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). The plant is sometimes called Indian Tobacco and contains compounds similar to nicotine.

Blue lobelia is used by the Iroquois, Cherokee, Haudenosaunee, and Meskwaki. The Iroquois valued the roots with other plants to make tea for treating venereal disease, otherwise known as a sexually transmitted disease. Within the Cherokee tribe, blue lobelias are used for a wide range of purposes. They are headache alleviating, a de-wormer, a treatment for rheumatism, able to reduce fever, and a cure for syphilis. The smashed plant would fight bewitchment and, when gargled, help with coughs within the Haudenosaunee tribe. The usage of blue lobelia for the Meskwaki is not for physical ailments but for social and emotional problems such as couple quarrels and love conflicts.