As an herbal remedy, wild indigo, considered to motivate the immune system in the body, has multiple uses. While wild indigo is especially beneficial in curing upper respiratory infections like tonsillitis and pharyngitis, the herb is also very useful in healing contagions of the chest, gastrointestinal tract and even the skin. The anti-microbial and immuno-stimulant features of wild indigo help to fight against lymphatic disorders. Wild indigo is very useful in diminishing lymph swellings when it is used along with detoxifying herbs like burdock. Many herbal practitioners recommend usage of wild indigo along with Echinacea to cure chronic viral condition or chronic fatigue syndrome. Decoction or a remedy prepared by boiling the wild indigo root extracts in boiling water helps to comfort the sore or infected nipples and contagious skin. While the extract from the wild indigo roots are widely used as gargle or mouthwash, the decoction heals canker sores, gum diseases, and even sore throats. Since the days of the Indians in the US, wild indigo has been used as an antiseptic to heal cuts and wounds. Till date herbal practitioners prescribe the use of wild indigo as a gargle or for application as an external antiseptic. Although these are proven, there is no scientific research to support the efficiency of the herb in healing these ailments. The North Indians in America expensively used the wild indigo to heal various disorders. In fact, a medication prepared from boiling the roots of the herb in boiling water was a favorite among the American Indians as an antiseptic. They used the decoction to wash wounds and even skin disorders. Recent researches have proved that this pungent and sour herb kindles the immune system and is especially effectual against all types of infections caused by bacteria. However, here is a word of caution for those applying the plant extracts internally. It needs to be emphasized that vast as well as recurrent use of the herb may be injurious to health. A tea prepared from the wild indigo root extract increases the flow of bile, induces nausea and vomiting, at the same time reduces fever and stimulates evacuation of the bowels. When wild indigo roots and barks are boiled in water and the medication is used to rinse the throat or used as a mouthwash, it helps in healing mouth sores. Additionally, fresh roots and barks of wild indigo are widely used as homeopathic remedies. Although wild indigo has inadequate results in controlling flu, but is still used extensively to heal particular types of the disorder.
Any soil that combines all three of these types of particles in relatively equal amounts is ideal for the growth of wild indigo. The herb has a preference for deep, nutritious and well-drained indefinite to mildly tart soil in complete sunlight. Once the wild indigo is planted it is important that they are left undisturbed as the herb has a deep root system and has an aversion to root disturbance. The herb has a two-way relation with specific bacteria in the soil and these bacteria helps to form lumps of the wild indigo by affixing nitrogen from the atmosphere. While an amount of this accumulated nitrogen is utilized by the growing wild indigo, some of it is also used by plants in growing in its neighborhood. Wild indigo seed: It is conducive to sow the wild indigo seeds when in a chilly casing soon after they are ripened. Wild indigo seeds that have been stored for some time needs to be soaked in warm water for 24 hours before sowing them in cold encasings either in later winter or early spring. When the seeds grow into seedlings each of them are to be picked and placed in separate pots. And as soon as they are large enough to be handled, these plants should be placed in their permanent position of growth during the summer or the next spring. Division in spring: Larger plants can be directly planted in their permanent place of growth. On the other hand, it is better to plant smaller clusters of the seedlings in separate pots and keep them in cold frames until they grow up to substantial size.
Wild indigo contains isoflavones, flavonoids, alkaloids, coumarins, and polysaccharides. The isoflavones are estrogenic.
Wild indigo may be consumed in various ways, including decoction as well as tincture to heal a number of ailments. However, this should be done according to prescription. Decoction: consuming half a teaspoon of a medication prepared by boiling wild indigo root in hot water for 10-15 minutes in a cup of water is useful preventing as well as curing various ailments. This decoction may be drunk thrice daily. Tincture: it is advisable to take one to two ml of the tincture of wild indigo thrice daily.
Scientists have done enough research with wild indigo and even undertaken wide-ranging tests regarding the safety of using the herb. Medical examination of harmonized use of wild indigo as a remedy used with other herbs has proved that it is not harmful. However, the researchers involving the safety of the use of wild indigo among young children, pregnant or nursing women or people with acute liver or kidney disease is yet to be established.
After flowering has stopped, the root of wild indigo is dug out in the fall. Then the root is cleaned, cut, and dry well.