Neelini / Indigo / Indigofera Tinctoria

Ayurveda is a holistic science that many people throughout the world practice. This is a natural medical method that began many years ago; the name directly implies sharing knowledge of life, which aids in longevity. Neelini is Indigofera tinctoria, also known as real indigo, and is a member of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family. This herb is well-known for its ability to reduce fever, maintain liver and spleen function, and treat bone and joint disorders. This has long been found in India, mostly in Bihar and Bengal on a big scale. Indigo is a natural source of hair dyes that lasts longer and does not harm the hair. It has a deep blue color due to the glycoside (glucose and indoxyl) in its major composition, which contributes to the blue dye.

General Information

Neelini is used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote good hair development, texture, and softness, and it can be used as a powder, paste, or color. This is one of the oldest natural dyestuffs known to humans, and it has been used for ages to color textiles with blue dye. This is a tiny shrub that can grow to be either biennial or perennial depending on the conditions. It has lovely pink blossoms that are wonderfully used and yield results for a variety of medical reasons.

Special Note About Indigo 

  • Neelini is a herb that is used to treat Kapha-Vata imbalances.
  • This plant is well-known for its ability to reduce fever, maintain the health of the liver and spleen, and treat any form of bone or joint condition.
  • Indigotin (glycoside) and indican are dye compounds that help to color hair, clothes, and a variety of other items.
  • This plant is classified as a purgative medicine (useful in Virechana karma) by Acharya Charak, and it is also classified as an Adhobhaghara herb by Acharya Sushrut.

Systemic Classification

  • Botanical Name - Indigofera tinctoria
  • Family - Fabaceae / Leguminosae
  • Genus - Indigofera
  • Species - I. tinctoria


  • Neelini - Blue-colored Flowers.
  • Ranjani - beneficial in hair or cloth coloring.
  • Tutha - The color is similar to the actual substance, copper sulphate.
  • Neel Pushpa - The color of the flower is blue
  • Shardi - Ripeness in the winter season.

Other Vernacular Names

  • Hindi Name - Neeli
  • Bengali Name  - Neel
  • Malayalam Name  - Neeli
  • Gujarati Name - Gali
  • Marathi Name - Leel
  • Tamil Name - Neelam, Avri
  • Telugu Name - Aviri, Neelchettu
  • Farsi Name - Drakhte-Neel
  • English Name - Indigo


  • This is an annual, biennial, and perennial shrub that grows at different rates according to the weather, climate, and temperature.
  • It has pinnate leaves that are pale green.
  • It is made up of pink and violet flowers.
  • This is found in temperate regions of Asia, Africa, and throughout the world in diverse countries.

Ayurvedic Properties



Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Laghu 

Dry, light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects On Doshas

  • It balances the Vata and Kapha dosha.
  • This is commonly used to stimulate hair growth and as a coloring agent.

Practical Uses

  • This plant helps with kaphaj and vataj diseases.
  • This has lekhan (scrapping) characteristics, is an analgesic, a good healer, relieves skin disorders, removes poisoning, and has anti-helminthic properties.
  • This has heart-tonic, liver-protective, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • This plant helps in the removal of Jangam poisoning from the body.
  • It also helps in the regulation of body temperature.
  • This plant can be used in powder form to scrape the cataract and in paste form for analgesic effect in osteoarthritis and hemorrhoids.
  • It can be used as a paste for a non-healing lesion or ulcer for rapid healing.
  • It can be put to the wound of a snake or dog bite to minimize the toxic impact.
  • To eliminate the Kapha dosha, this is effective in coughs, lung infections, and respiratory diseases.
  • It is taken with black pepper powder in cases of fever.

Part used

Roots or whole plants


  • 3-5 grams of Neelini herb powder can be used.
  • The herb decoction can be used up to 50-100 ml.

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