Neelini – Indigo or Indigofera tinctoria is used for the treatment of fever, liver and spleen disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, grey hairs etc. The leaves promote hair growth.
Neelini – Indigofera tinctorea
Botanica name- Indigofera tinctoria Linn.
Family – Fabaceae
Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Neela
English name-Indigo, Indian Indigo
Telugu name- Nilimandu chettu, Aviri, Neela chettu
Tamil name- Neelam, Avuri, Amari
Malayalam name- Lita, Leela
Tutttha – Blue color of flower resembles copper sulphate
Nilini, Neeli, Neelika, Neelapuspa – Blue colored flower
Asita, Shyama, Ranjani, Kali, Kaala, Kaalakeshi – Colors grey hair into black
Anjanika, Daka, Puccha, Tooni,
Vishodhini – cleansing, useful in Virechana treatment
Bharati, Bhara vahini
Shree Phalika, Shri Phali, Maha Phala, Mocha, Madhuparnika, Rangapatri
Charaka Samhita – group of herbs used for Virechana, Charaka Sutrasthana 2nd chapter
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga
Bhavaparaksha Nighantu, Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shatahvadi Varga
Major chemical Constituents:
A galactomannan from seed; Apigenin, Indigotin, Kaempferol, Tutetion, rotenoids deguelin, dehydrodeguelin, rotenol, rotenone, tephrosin and sumatrol from various parts of plant.
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Rooksha – dryness
Rasa (taste) – Tikta – bitter
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.
Part used- root, whole plant
Dosage- Powder 3-5 g decoction 50-100 ml
Indigofera tinctoria medicinal uses:
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Ushna – hot
Keshya – Improves hair strength, promotes hair growth
Vishahara – Anti toxic
Rechani – useful in Virechana – Purgation treatment
Bhrama – Delusion, Dizziness
Moha – delusion
Pleeha – Disease of the spleen, Splenomegaly
Udara – ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Vatarakta – Gout
Udavarta – Bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Mada – intoxication
Gulma – Tumors of the abdomen
Jantu – worm infestation
Jwara – fever
Indigofera tinctoria for hair:
Paste of leaves is applied on hair, 20 minutes before bath, to relieve grey hairs and to promote hair growth – trichogenous.
Neelini is used as an ingredient in many hair oils such as Neelibhringadi tailam, used in treating hair fall and grey hair problems.
neelini hair dye
Leaf paste is applied externally to heal wound quickly, also useful in case of insect bites and skin disorders with itching. It is also used in treating scorpion bite.
Effect on digestive system:
It relieves constipation, useful in rheumatoid arthritis, ascites, splenomegaly, liver disorders. It is a very good liver tonic.
Effect on respiratory system: Because it balances Kapha and Vata Dosha, it is useful in cough, cold, bronchitis, rhinitis, asthma. Leaves, root and stem are expectorent,
Effect on musculo-skeletal system: useful in gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis. Relieves pain and inflammation of joints, improves flexibilty.
Use in rabies:
The leaf paste is applied over the dog bite site.
Upon dog bite, 50 ml of juice extract is mixed with equal quantity of milk and administered in the morning to relieve hydrophobia. (Reference: Dravyaguna Vijnana, PV Sharma).
Neelini Side effects:
It is best avoided in diarrhea.
It is safe to use during lactation period and in children.
Seek medical advice for its usage during pregnancy.
Ayurvedic medicines with Indigo as ingredient:
(Click on the medicine name to learn more about it)
Aravindasavam – Ayurvedic medicine used in children to improve digestion, body weight and strength.
Neelimuladi Gulika – Used in the Ayurvedic treatment of fever.
Neelibhringadi Oil – used for improving quality of hair, to treat split hairs, premature graying and baldness.
Gorochanadi Gulika – used in Ayurvedic treatment of fever, pneumonia, cough, cold etc.
Chemparuthyadi Keratailam – a traditional herbal oil, used in the Ayurvedic treatment of skin diseases.
Maha Panchagavya Ghrita – used for the treatment of fever, epilepsy, fistula, inflammation, piles, etc
Antihepatotoxic Effect – Researchers from Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu conducted antihepatotoxic efficacy test of aqueous extract of Indigofera tinctoria (250, 500 mg/kg body weight) against paracetamol induced liver damage in rats. Rise in serum levels of aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), ?-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), bilirubin, cholesterol, lipid peroxidation (LPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH) were analysed during the study. Histopathological changes of liver sample were compared with respective control. Significant antihepatotoxic efficacies of the Indigofera tinctoria extracts were reported.
Nephroprotective activity – Research conducted by department of Pharmacology (Gunapadam), Govt. Siddha Medical College, Chennai conducted study on Kidney toxicity. Water decoction of leaves of Indigo, in a dose of 500 mg/kg was given in Cisplatin induced renal damage in rats was studied. Nephrotoxicity was induced in wistar albino rats by intra-peritoneal administration of Cisplatin 5mg/kg. The results were determined using serum creatinine and blood urea and change in body weight as indicators of kidney damage. The decoctions significantly decreased the cisplatin induced nephrotoxicity. Remarkable changes were observed in body weight, serum creatinine and urea levels. It was observed that the trial drug significantly protected the kidneys from injury. It possesses significant nephro-protective activity against cisplatin induced renal damage.
Indigo as antidote:
In case of over-dosage of Arka – Calotropis procera / gigantea, leaf juice extract leaves of Neelini are crushed and juice is extracted. It is administered in a dose of 10 ml, two times a day.