Health Guide

Wild indigo

What is it?

Wild Indigo is an herbal medicine used to treat bacterial infections and to increase the immune system. It is also used on the skin to treat infected wounds or ulcers, and as a gargle for gingivitis (gum disease), sore throat, and other problems of the mouth and throat.

Other names for Wild Indigo include: Baptista Tinctoria, American Indigo, False Indigo, Indigo, Horsefly Weed, Indigo Broom, and Yellow Indigo.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Wild Indigo you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Wild Indigo. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Wild Indigo, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use Wild Indigo during pregnancy
  • Wild Indigo is not recommended if you have an autoimmune disease (example: Lupus) or are taking immunosuppressant medicines (examples: Neoral(R) Sandimmune(R) cyclosporine) to prevent an organ transplant rejection (2)
  • Do not use Wild Indigo if you have any inflammatory stomach or bowel problems (examples: colitis, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease) (3)
  • Long term use of Wild Indigo should be monitored by a health professional (4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Large doses can cause diarrhea and throwing up (4)


1. Anon: PDR for Herbal Medicines. Medical Economics Company Inc, Montvale, NJ; 2000: 812-813.

2. Anon: Wild Indigo monograph. In: Anon: Micromedex Healthcare Series. Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 2000.

3. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Eclectic Medical Publications, Sandy, OR; 1998.

4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al: American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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