Monday, December 15, 2008

Indigofera tinctoria L.

Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Indigofera leptostachys DC., Indigofera pulchella sensu Baker

English Name : True or Indian Indigo, black henna

Origin : Probably tropical west Africa (including Senegal)

A small shrub, 4 to 6 feet high, with slender, spreading, rather angular branches, rough with short adpressed white hairs. Leaves alternate, 3 or 4 inches long, shortly stalked, unequally pinnate, with small, setaceous stipules, rachis stiff, tapering, hairy; leaflets in 4 to 6 opposite pairs and an odd one, very shortly stalked, each with a minute stipella at the base, oval-or obovate-oblong, entire, ½ to ¾ inch long, glabrous and bluish green above, silky with white adpressed hairs and paler beneath.

Forests, rocky areas and along roads in India; also in Great Britain and the tropics of America and Africa.

Parts Used : Leaf, plant and its aerial part.

Herb Effects
Depresses the central nervous system and hypoglycemic (aerial part); irritates the mucosa of the alimentary canal.

Active Ingredients
Indigotin, indican, phosphoric acid (leaf); from an alcohol extract of plant.

Medicinal Use
Epilepsy, lumbago, asthma, leucoderma, hemorrhoids and enlargement of the liver and spleen (plant); in damage to the liver (alcohol extract from plant); convulsions in infants, hysteria, chorea and amenorrhea.

1 to 20 grains.


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