Indigootanical: Indigofera tinctoria
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Synonyms: Pigmentum Indicum.
Part Used: The plant.
Habitat: India; cultivated in sub-tropical countries.
Description: A blue dyestuff is obtained from the various species of Indigofera. It does not exist ready formed, but is produced during fermentation from another agent existing in the plant. This is called Indocan, and is yellow, amorphous, of a nauseous bitter taste with an acid reaction; readily soluble in water, alcohol and ether.
Medicinal Action and Uses: Indigo was at one time much used in medicine, but now is rarely employed. It is said to produce nausea and vomiting.
It is a very well-known and highly important dye, millions of pounds being exported from India annually.
An artificial product, Indigotine, is manufactured chemically and used as a substitute.