Lobelia chinensis

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Lobelia chinensis
Lobelia chinensis 01.jpg
Flower of Lobelia chinensis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Lobelia
L. chinensis
Binomial name
Lobelia chinensis
  • Dortmanna campanuloides (Thunb.) Kuntze
  • Dortmanna chinensis (Lour.) Kuntze
  • Dortmanna radicans (Thunb.) Kuntze
  • Isolobus caespitosus (Blume) Hassk.
  • Isolobus campanuloides (Thunb.) A.DC.
  • Isolobus kerii A.DC.
  • Isolobus radicans (Thunb.) A.DC.
  • Isolobus roxburghianus A.DC.
  • Lobelia caespitosa Blume
  • Lobelia campanuloides Thunb.
  • Lobelia chinensis f. lactiflora
  • Lobelia chinensis f. plena
  • Lobelia japonica F.Dietr.
  • Lobelia kerii (A.DC.) Heynh.
  • Lobelia radicans Thunb.*
  • Lobelia roxburgiana (A.DC.) Heynh.
  • Pratia radicans G.Don
  • Pratia thunbergii G.Don

Lobelia chinensis, commonly known as Asian lobelia,[2] Chinese Lobelia, and Herba Lobellae Chinensis, is a species of flowering plant in the family Campanulaceae. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has the name (Chinese: ; pinyin: bàn biān lián).[3]


Lobelia chinensis is a small perennial herb[4] that grows in tangled clumps from 15 centimetres (5.9 in) to 35 centimetres (14 in) long. It has a long, thin, branching stem that is olive green and green-brown crumpled narrow leaves. It has little to no odor and a sweet and pungent taste. When harvesting herbs for medical use, the ones with the greenest stems and yellower roots are preferred.[3]


It is endemic to east, south, southwest, and south-central China.

Herbal medicine[edit]

Lobelia chinensis is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese herbology. Historically, L. chinensis has been used in herbal medicine to help stop smoking, however the Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of herbs containing lobeline due to its ineffectiveness.[5]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Lobelia chinensis contains 6,7-dimethoxycoumarin, fraxinol, 5-hydroxy-7-methoxycoumarin, tomentin, 3'-hydroxygenkwanin, apigenin, quercetin, luteolin, linarin, luteolin 3',4'-dimethylether-7-O-beta-D-glucoside, isoferulic acid, and ethyl rosmarinate.[6]

Toxicity and adverse effects[edit]

Lobelia chinensis is considered mildly toxic[1] due to its adverse effects, including vomiting, heartburn, anxiety, vibrating, eclampsia, increased heart-rate, and severe stomach aches.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Lobelia chinensis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-02-11.
  2. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 524. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
  3. ^ a b "Lobelia Herb (Ban Bian Lian)". Chinese Herbs Healing. 2008. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Lobelia chinensis Lour. - Chinese lobelia". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  5. ^ Stead, Lindsay F.; Hughes, John R. (2012). "Lobeline for smoking cessation". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD000124. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000124.pub2. PMC 7043274. PMID 22336780. In 1993 the FDA banned all OTC smoking cessation products in the United States, including lobeline, due to a lack of acceptable clinical efficacy data
  6. ^ Chen JX, Huang SH, Wang Y, Shao M, Ye WC (2010). "Studies on the chemical constituents from Lobelia chinensis". Zhong Yao Cai. 33 (11): 1721–4. PMID 21434431.
  7. ^ Han J, Zhang F, Li Z, Du G, Qin H (2009). "[Chemical constituents of Lobelia chinensis]". Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi (in Chinese). 34 (17): 2200–2. PMID 19943485.