Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions
According to test tube experiments,2 wild indigo stimulates immune function, which might account for its role in fighting the common cold and flu. In combination with echinacea, boneset, and homeopathic arnica, wild indigo has prevented and reduced symptoms of the common cold in double-blind research. Wild indigo is traditionally considered a strong antimicrobial agent, though it has not yet been investigated as an agent against cold viruses.
Wild indigo contains polysaccharides and proteins that have been reported in test tube studies to stimulate the immune system. The immune-enhancing effect of wild indigo is consistent with its use in traditional herbal medicine to fight the flu.3 However, wild indigo is generally used in combination with other herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, or thuja.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
Historically, the root of wild indigo was used to make blue dye. It was also used by European herbalists to treat ulcers and several types of infections, including those affecting the mouth and gums, lymph nodes, and throat.1
How It Works
How It Works
According to test tube experiments, the polysaccharides and proteins in wild indigo are believed to stimulate the immune system.4 This might account for its role against the common cold and flu. Wild indigo is rarely used alone and is a part of a popular European product for colds and flu that combines the herb with echinacea and thuja.5 The root also contains alkaloids, which may contribute to its medicinal actions.
How to Use It
Wild indigo is generally used in combination with herbs such as echinacea and thuja. A tincture, 1–2 ml three times per day, is sometimes used. When taking the whole herb, 500–1,000 mg is taken as a tea three times daily.6
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.
Interactions with Medicines
As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
Higher intakes (over 30 grams per day) of wild indigo can cause nausea and vomiting.7 Long-term use (more than two to three weeks) is not recommended. The safety of wild indigo during pregnancy and breast-feeding has only been established in a product combining it with echinacea and thuja. Used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the combination delivers 90 mg of wild indigo per day.
1. Hoffmann D. The New Holistic Herbal. Shaftsbury, Dorset, UK and Rockport, MA: Element, 1990, 241.
2. Beuscher N, Kopanski L. Stimulation of immunity by the contents of Baptisia tinctoria.Planta Med 1985;5:381–4.
3. Beuscher N, Kopanski L. Stimulation of immunity by the contents of Baptisia tinctoria.Planta Med 1985;5:381–4.
4. Beuscher N, Kopanski L. Stimulation of immunity by the contents of Baptisia tinctoria.Planta Med 1985;5:381–4.
5. Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Hentshcel C, Schnitker J, et al. Efficacy and safety of a fixed combination phytomedicine in the treatment of the common cold (acute viral respiratory infection): Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Current Med Res Opinion 1999;15:214–27.
6. Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jeanicke C, et al. (eds). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998, 684–5.
7. Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jeanicke C, et al. (eds). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998, 684–5.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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