Article by Kaniz F. Shah


Botanical Name: Indigofera Tinctoria
English Name:   
Hindi Name:   
Popular Name(s): Tru Indigo, Pigmentum Indicum, Neel and Neelii.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Indigofera
Species: Tinctoria
Parts Used: Roots and Leaves
Odor: Fabales
Effect / Energy:   
Extraction method:  
Oil blends with:  






The indigo plant is a leafy shrub that grows 3-6 feet tall with magenta-colored flowers. The plant has molecules with a blue dye and has been used since ancient times to dye textiles and is now becoming increasingly popular for dyeing the hair. Most jeans are also dyed with indigo. Indigo dye is made from processing the plant’s leaves by soaking them in water and allowing them to ferment. This converts the natural glycoside indicant into the dye, indigotin. It can then be pressed into cakes, dried and powdered.

Hair Coloring:

For hair coloring purposes, the green leaves of the indigo plant are dried and crushed into a fine powder. The powder is mixed with warm water to create a paste that is applied to the hair. When used properly with pure henna powder, indigo dye will create shades ranging from brown to jet black. It also makes hair soft and silky to the touch.

Health Benefits:

The Ayurvedic and Siddha systems of medicine have indigo as a plant with therapeutic properties that are known to be effective in the healing of vertigo, palpitations of the heart, asthma, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, constipation, epilepsy, seizures and hair-related problems. The root and leaves of the plant are used by Ayurveda to cure hepatitis, jaundice, anemia, worm infestations, and urinary complications.


This article is for informational purpose only. Indigo is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.


  1. Book “Herbs Bible”