Wild indigo, also known as rattleweed, indigo weed, yellow false indigo, and horsefly weed, is a plant that is grown in the regions of North America. The perennial plant grows as high as three feet, with blossoms that are similar to those of the lentil family (Fabaceae).
The flowers usually grow between May and September of every year. The plant used to grow naturally in forestlands, but currently, wild indigo is becoming more difficult to find. This is because there is a high demand for the plant for dietary herbal supplements.
In the early years, wild indigo was used as an antiseptic wash for injuries and wounds. However, so many years down the line, wild indigo is now used as an antiseptic and an immune system booster. And today, the herb is used for antibacterial and antiseptic properties, as well as for its soothing effect on throat infections.
Some people topically apply wild indigo topically to the skin to treat ulcers, sore nipples, as a douche for vaginal discharge, and for disinfecting open and swollen wounds.
Uses and Health Benefits of Wild Indigo
In herbal treatments, medicinal remedies made from herbs like wild indigo can help treat a diverse range of ailments. While wild indigo isn’t necessarily beneficial to just a certain type of people, it is often used by people with identifiable symptoms.
For instance, people who usually suffer from delirium and nightmares, and even fall asleep during conversations may need wild indigo. These types of people will feel sensations of breathlessness and suffocation and may feel like their body is being torn into pieces. The fever may bring on feelings of delirium, drunkenness or confusion.
However, some of most common physical symptoms connected with the use of wild indigo include a swollen face, bitter-tasting mouth, bad breath, flushed eyelids, and a yellowish-brown tongue. There may also be muscular aches with a feeling of being bruised.
Although wild indigo is more popular as a remedy for fever, it is also used to treat a range of health conditions. So, let’s take a closer look at how wild indigo is not just useful for fevers, but gastrointestinal infections, influenza, throat infections, and septic infections as well.
Wild indigo is considered very effective as a remedy for fevers. At first, wild indigo was developed exclusively as a treatment for typhoid fevers, and in cases where fevers are accompanied by fatigue and confusion.
However, these days, wild indigo is used mostly for extreme fevers and typhoid fever is considered one of the most serious bacterial diseases in developing countries. While typhoid fevers are usually treated with antibiotics, if there is an antibiotic-resistant strain, the doctor may go for alternative treatment.
In fact, some studies have shown that wild indigo extract can be used in the treatment and prevention of typhoid fever.
A Remedy for Gastrointestinal Infections
Wild indigo is arguably the best herbal remedy for serious cases of diarrhea with a fever and even a bit of delirium. In cases of acute diarrhea, there may be a foul smell and sore rectum. But luckily, the passing of a stool is not exactly painful.
With serious bouts of diarrhea, the sufferer’s tongue may have a yellowish coating, including a bitter taste in the mouth. In some chronic cases, blood may also appear in the stools, with a pink rash on the abdomen indicating typhoid fever.
Influenza is an infection of the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms of the flu generally differ from that of a cold as it includes general fatigue, fever, and body aches. Commonly, it takes people weeks to completely get better from the flu, while on the other hand, it takes just a few days to recover from a cold.
The symptoms that indicate wild indigo is the best remedy include delirium, toxicity, sore joints, fatigue, confusion, and aching muscles.
Relieves Throat Infections
It usually begins with a sore throat and later worsens into a throat infection. Wild indigo is effective for treating throat infections, particularly when it is hard to swallow food. As a matter of fact, it may result in ear infections.
Improves Nasal Swelling (Sinusitis)
According to some studies consuming specific medications containing vitamin C and wild indigo extract, echinacea, and thuja (Esberitox) by mouth alleviates nasal blockage in people with sinusitis who are also on antibiotics.
Treats Septic Conditions
Septic conditions are often serious and can lead to a very low blood pressure and cellular metabolism disorders. Septic shock can result in stroke, heart failure, and other organ failures, and even death.
Thankfully, wild indigo is effective for septic conditions, especially in cases of foul-smelling ulcers in the mouth and throat including a foul-smelling discharge. Additionally, the sufferer’s breath, urine, and sweat may also have an offensive smell.
The symptoms are often sudden with stupor and fatigue and may be as a result of septicemia, an incomplete miscarriage, or a septic level that is characterized by an acute fever.
Side Effects and Precautions of Wild Indigo
- Children should only take this herb only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers should steer clear of wild indigo.
- Avoid in people who are allergic or sensitive to wild indigo, its parts, or members of the legume family.
- There are some indications that when taken in large doses, wild indigo can be toxic – as it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, vomiting, ptyalism, respiratory paralysis, tachycardia, and death.
- It is important to note remember that wild indigo should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
The Bottom Line
It is important to know that wild indigo in the dried root, liquid tincture form, or in combination with other herbs such as thuja, echinacea, poke root, or myrrh. It is also effective when used internally as a mouthwash or externally as an ointment.
Wild indigo is generally safe and effective for several health conditions such as acute fevers, severe influenza, sore throats, septic infections, and gastrointestinal infections. However, when taken in large doses, herbal wild indigo can be toxic.