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Indigofera tinctoria, also called true indigo, is a species of plant from the bean family that was one of the original sources of indigo dye. It has been naturalized to tropical and temperate Asia. True indigo is a shrub one to two meters high. It may be an annual, biennial, or perennial, depending on the climate in which it is grown. It has light green pinnate leaves and sheafs of pink or violet flowers.
Dye is obtained from the processing of the plant's leaves. They are soaked in water and fermented in order to convert the glycosideindican naturally present in the plant to the blue dye indigotin. The precipitate from the fermented leaf solution is mixed with a strong base such as lye.
It relieves constipation, useful in rheumatoid arthritis, ascites, splenomegaly, liver disorders. It is a very good liver tonic. Because it balances Kapha and Vata Dosha, it is useful in cough, cold, bronchitis, rhinitis, asthma. Leaves, root and stem are expectorent, It is also useful in gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis. Relieves pain and inflammation of joints, improves flexibilty.