Wild Indigo Root
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Wild Indigo Root
Wild Indigo or Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) may also be called Blue False Indigo, Indigo Broom, Baptisia, Clover Broom and Horsefly Weed. It is a perennial plant that belongs to the pea family. The Wild Indigo is native to North America. This plant may grow to about 3.2 feet in height and is very common in gardens and yards because of its beauty and its pea-like appearance. This plant is low maintenance and can withstand warm temperatures.
The Wild Indigo root is just one of the many parts of the Wild Indigo which is used as an herbal remedy. When dug up, the roots may appear woody and are colored black; the roots may even show wart-like projections as well. The stems of the Wild Indigo contain a sap that can be seen as bluish in color. The leaves of the Wild Indigo are colored grayish green and are alternately arranged. The flowers are pea-like and blossom in June and are colored indigo in color.
The Wild Indigo root is used in many herbal treatments and is effective in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and as an immune system enhancer.
History and Origin
The Wild Indigo as well as the Wild Indigo root has been used by Native American tribes in the production of blue dye, this process was imitated by European settlers. Thus the name Wild Indigo is derived from the color of the dye. The name of the genus baptisia was from the Ancient Greek word ‘bapto’ which basically means ‘to immerse’ or ‘to dip’, ‘australis’ is a Latin word for South.
The Wild Indigo along with the Wild Indigo root was used by the native Cherokee tribes in northern America as a source of blue dye. It was also used as a tea to cure intestinal parasites and also to treat minor gastrointestinal problems. It was also used to cure toothaches and even as an eyewash.
Wild Indigo root is used to boost the immune system to fight diseases and infections. It is effective in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections as well as treating sore throat, tonsillitis and pharyngitis. This herbal remedy is also effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach pains, indigestion, gas, bloating and also in curing lymphatic disorders.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is also treated with Wild Indigo root. Decoctions made from the root can also cure diseases of the skin as well as contagious skin infections.
Extracts of the Wild Indigo root is effective as a mouthwash that can cure both sore throats and oral sores.
Wild Indigo root preparations and dietary supplements are not advisable for very young children and also not advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is also a possibility of liver and kidney toxicity if Wild Indigo root is taken more than the prescribed limit.
It is thus recommended to consult your naturopathic doctor or herbalist regarding the use of Wild Indigo root preparations for your particular concern or illness, and also to advice correct dosage and any adverse drug interactions with the medications that you may be currently taking.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan