Like its botanical relative true indigo ( Indigofera tinctoria ), wild indigo has historically been used as a source of a deep blue dye. It was also used medicinally: the natives of North America used it as a topical treatment for non-healing wounds and infections of the mouth and throat. The root is the part used.
What Is Wild Indigo Used for Today?
Currently, wild indigo is primarily used as part of a standardized four-herb combination said to improve immune function. This combination contains, besides wild indigo, Echinacea purpurea root, Echinacea pallida root, and white cedar ( Thuja occididentalis ). This combination is hypothesized to have immune-stimulating properties.
Combination therapies containing wild indigo, echinacea, and white cedar should be taken according to label instructions.
Wild indigo has not undergone comprehensive safety testing. However, in clinical studies, use of the standardized combination therapy has not been associated with any serious harmful effects. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -