Wild Indigo
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Wild Indigo Usage

Written by FoundHealth.

What Is Wild Indigo Used for Today?

Currently, wild indigo is primarily used as part of a standardized four-herb combination said to improve immune function. This combination contains, besides wild indigo, Echinacea purpurearoot, Echinacea pallidaroot, and white cedar ( Thuja occididentalis). This combination is hypothesized to have immune-stimulating properties.

In a well-designed double-blind study of 263 people with recent onset of the common cold , use of this combination significantly improved cold symptoms as compared to placebo. 1 Recovery occurred approximately 3 days earlier among people taking the herbal mixture as compared to those taking the placebo.

Benefits for the common cold were also seen in other double-blind, placebo-controlled studies involving a total of about 250 people. 2 3 The same combination therapy has also shown promise for augmenting the effects of antibiotics in people with bacterial infections. 4 For example, in one study, 53 people experiencing an acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis were given either antibiotics plus placebo or the same antibiotics plus this herbal combination. 5 The results showed that participants receiving the herbal mixture recovered significantly more quickly than those given placebo.

Proponents of this combination therapy claim that it works by “balancing” or “strengthening” the immune system. 6 However, while there is evidence that this herbal mixture affects the immune function, the current state of scientific knowledge is generally inadequate to determine whether any such effects are good, bad, or indifferent. See the article on immune support for more information on this widely misunderstood topic.

References

  1. Henneicke-von Zepelin H, Hentschel C, Schnitker J, Kohnen R, Köhler G, Wüstenberg P. Efficacy and safety of a fixed combination phytomedicine in the treatment of the common cold (acute viral respiratory tract infection): results of a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, multicentre study. Curr Med Res Opin. 15(3):214-27.
  2. Wustenberg P, Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Kohler G, et al. Efficacy and mode of action of an immunomodulator herbal preparation containing Echinacea , wild indigo, and white cedar. Adv Ther. 1999;16:51–70.
  3. Naser B, Lund B, Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Köhler G, Lehmacher W, Scaglione F. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical dose-response trial of an extract of Baptisia, Echinacea and Thuja for the treatment of patients with common cold. Phytomedicine. 12(10):715-22.
  4. Wustenberg P, Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Kohler G, et al. Efficacy and mode of action of an immunomodulator herbal preparation containing Echinacea , wild indigo, and white cedar. Adv Ther. 1999;16:51–70.
  5. Hauke W, Kohler G, Henneicke-Von Zepelin HH, et al. Esberitox N as supportive therapy when providing standard antibiotic treatment in subjects with a severe bacterial infection (acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis). A multicentric, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Chemotherapy. 2002;48:259–66.
  6. Wustenberg P, Henneicke-von Zepelin HH, Kohler G, et al. Efficacy and mode of action of an immunomodulator herbal preparation containing Echinacea , wild indigo, and white cedar. Adv Ther. 1999;16:51–70.
 
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