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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Baptisia tinctoria
treats Respiratory tract infections

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Herbs & Supplements


Baptisia australis, Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R. B., Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R. Br., Baptisiae tinctoriae radix, blue false indigo, blue wild indigo, Fabaceae (family), horse fly weed, indigo carmine, indigo weed, rattlebush, rattleweed, wild indigo root.


Wild indigo (Baptisia australis) has deep blue to violet flowers, similar to sweet pea flowers. When the plant's sap is exposed to air, it turns purple. Although this sap has been used for dying, it is not as colorfast as true indigo (Indigofera tinctoria). Some Native Americans tribes used a tea of blue indigo root as an emetic (induces vomit) and purgative.

Wild indigo is considered toxic and is on the U. S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of toxic plants. However, two studies in humans found no adverse effects when it was used in a combination of Baptisiae tinctoriae radix, Echinaceae pallidae/ purpureae radix, and Thujae occidentalis herba. Currently, wild indigo seems most promising as an immunomodulator, as both laboratory studies and clinical studies using combination products have noted some benefit. However, more studies are needed using wild indigo as a monotherapy before its safety and efficacy can be determined.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Respiratory tract infections: Preliminary evidence has shown immunostimulative properties in wild indigo extracts. However, the available clinical studies have been conducted using the combination called Esberitox N (Echinaceae (purpureae et pallidae) radix, Baptisiae tinctoriae radix and Thujae occidentalis herba). Additional study is needed using wild indigo alone to determine effectiveness for respiratory tract infections.
Grade: C

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