Estrella is a low annual herb, erect,
spreading, branched or simple. smooth or slightly hairy, about 30 to 50
centimeters high. Leaves are alternate, soft, and oblanceolate, with short stalks or without
stalks, 10 to 20 centimeters long, with serrate margins, narrow at both ends, pointed at the tip.
Flowers are fragrant, white, five-lobed and star-shaped, borne singly at the axils
of leaves. Calyx is green, 5-angled, and ovoid; tube is about 1 centimeter long. Five lobes are linear, denticulate, about 1.5 centimeter long.
Corolla is white; tube is slender, 8 to 10 centimeters long; the lobes spreading, lanceolate, and 2.5 centimeters long. Capsule is nodding, about 2 centimeters long, and slightly protruding from the calyx-tube.
Cultivated in gardens.
Found along drains, along rice paddies.
• Plant yields alkaloid compounds: lobelin, lobelamin and isotomin.
• Leaves contain alkaloid, saponin, flavonoid and poliferol.
• Isotomine, an amorphous toxic alkaloid, can paralyze voluntary muscles,
that can affect the heart and respiration.
• Juice is irritating to the eye and is known to cause blindness
• A burning sensation in the mouth and throat results if the juice of any plant part is tasted.
• Considered anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic, analgesic and hemostatic.
- Counterirritant for aching teeth: leaves are washed, pounded and put on painful carious teeth.
- In the Yucatan used for wounds and treatment of venereal disease, asthma, bronchitis,
- Decoction of leaves used to wash wounds.
- Leaves and flowers are considered antipyretic and decongestant.
- Used for gaseous distention and diarrhea.
- Although known for its poisonous nature, it is sometimes used is small
amounts as a tonic for colds.
- In other folk medicinal systems, decoction of leaves used for asthma, bronchitis, cancer.
- Poultice of leaves applied to wounds and wrapped.
- For cataracts, leaves pressed in water, and solution used as eye drops.
• Seed Oils:
In a study of 12 seed oils from 10 plants families, nine are reported
to be medicinal. The major seed oil component of Isotoma longiflora
was oleic acid.
• Contains a toxic alkaloid, isotomine that can cause muscle paralysis
and affect cardiorespiratory functions.
• Its dangerous properties limit its medicinal use.
• Used as a component in some hallucinogenic beverages and brews.