Wild Indigo

Other names: Lucerne?

Scientificn name: Baptisia tinctoria

Common names: yellow broom, horsefly weed

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Lan-ts’ao

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    النيلي البرية (annili al barriyyah)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Leguminosae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Root

Collection: In the autumn, after the flowering has stopped? Reword

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Actions: Alterative anti-catarrhal, anti-microbial, febrifuge, hepatic

Known Constituents:  Alkaloids, glycosides, oleo-resin

Constituents Explained:


The wild indigo is of several species of closely related genus. Wild indigo has blackish and woody roots, a perennial plant, sends up a stem which is very much branched, round, smooth and from 2-3 feet high. The leaves are rounded at the extremity, small, clover-like and alternate. The bright yellow, pea-like, flowers appear in July and August. The fruit is a bluish-black color in the form of an oblong pod. Any portion of the plant, when dried, yields a blue dye which is not equal in value to indigo

Traditional Use: 

It has been used for the immune system and the skin.  In cases of throat infections it has been used as a mouthwash, also as a mouthwash for ulcers and gingivitis.  It is used primarily in the treatment of infections partciluary in the sinuses. Sometimes used to help the lympahtic system, and to bring down the body temperaturein fevers.

Clinical Studies: