Wild Indigo

Other Name(s):

American Indigo, Añil Silvestre, Baptisia Root, Baptisia tinctoria, Baptista, False Indigo, Faux Indigo, Horsefly Weed, Indigo Broom, Indigo Sauvage, Indigo Silvestre, Rattlebush, Yellow Broom, Yellow Indigo.


Wild indigo is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.

Wild indigo is used for infections such as diphtheria, influenza (flu), swine flu, the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections, lymph node infections, scarlet fever, malaria, and typhoid. It is also used for sore tonsils (tonsillitis), sore throat, swelling of the mouth and throat, fever, boils, and Crohn's disease.

Some people apply wild indigo directly to the skin for ulcers, sore and painful nipples, as a douche for vaginal discharge, and for cleaning open and swollen wounds.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how wild indigo works.

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Common cold.. Research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox) by mouth for 7-9 days improves cold symptom severity and overall well-being in people with moderate cold symptoms.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cold sores. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox) by mouth reduces itchiness, tension, and pain people with cold sores.
  • Low white blood cell count (leukopenia) Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox N) by mouth improves white blood cell counts in people with low numbers of white blood cells after having received chemotherapy for 6 months or less. However, it does not seem to improve white blood cell counts in people who received chemotherapy for longer time periods. Also, other research suggests that Esberitox N does not improve white blood cell counts when used by women receiving radiation treatment.
  • Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox) by mouth for 20 days improves nasal blockage and general well-being in people with sinusitis who are also taking antibiotics.
  • Swelling of tonsils (tonsillitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox) by mouth for 2 weeks, along with the antibiotic drug erythromycin, reduces symptoms and improves well-being and recovery in people with tonsillitis better than taking erythromycin alone.
  • Diphtheria.
  • Influenza (“flu”).
  • Malaria.
  • Typhoid fever.
  • Scarlet fever.
  • Sore throat.
  • Swelling of the mouth and throat.
  • Fever.
  • Crohn's disease.
  • Ulcers.
  • Wounds.
  • Sore and painful nipples.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of wild indigo for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

Wild indigo is UNSAFEwhen taken by mouth or applied to the skin, long-term or in large doses. Large doses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, other intestinal problems, and spasms.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Wild indigo is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Avoid use.

Stomach or intestinal problems: Wild indigo can be especially harmful to people with stomach or intestinal problems. Avoid use.


The appropriate dose of wild indigo depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for wild indigo. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


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