Indigo ( Indigofera tinctoria ) is a plant belonging to the legume family. The term indigo represents several species, but in this article we will stick to two of them: Indigofera tinctoria L. and Indigofera anil L . This plant is also popularly known by other names, such as anileiro, anileiro-da-india, caobi-indigo, timbó-mirim and timbozinho.

In natural medicine, indigo leaves, roots and seeds are used, including in the form of tea, to treat a variety of health conditions.

Indigo Characteristics

Originally from India, the anileiro is a very popular plant in Brazil, growing spontaneously in almost all regions of the country. Some time ago, the vegetable was widely cultivated in Brazil for indigo extraction, but lately, with the manufacture of synthetic coloring materials, the use of indigo coloring has been left aside.

There are several species in the country of the genus Indigofera, some of which are used as forage; others like green manure.

Indigo Properties and Benefits

The medicinal properties of indigo include its antialgic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stomachic, antiepileptic, febrifugal, purgative and sedative action. The plant root also has dental properties; and the bruised leaves have a scabies action.

In homeopathic treatment, anileiro is indicated for the following cases: joint and neuralgic pain, respiratory tract affections, acute skin inflammation, circulatory disorders and nose bleeding.

Indigo leaves have antispasmodic, sedative, stomachic, febrifuge, diuretic and purgative properties, being used in the treatment of blenorrhagic urethritis and nervous system disorders. Sore leaves are used topically to treat scabies; and the root is useful against jaundice. The plant’s seeds, after being sprayed, can repel insects.

Indigo tea: how to prepare?

Indigo tea is obtained through the infusion of its leaves and roots. Check out how to prepare this drink below:


– 5 g of indigo leaves and roots;
– 1 liter of water.

Preparation mode

Put the leaves and roots in the container and pour the boiling water over them. Cap and let the infusion rest for 15 minutes. The indication for consumption of this tea is 1 to 2 cups a day.


The plant contains indigo, a toxic substance, therefore, the plant should not be used in a dosage above the recommended one. Remember that plants contain active ingredients that can also harm us, so always consult a specialist doctor before starting any natural treatment.