name = Indigofera
image_width = 300px
image_caption = "Indigofera tinctoria"
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
genus = "Indigofera"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text
"Indigofera" is a large genus of about 700 species of
flowering plants belonging to the family Fabaceae. They occur throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with a few species reaching the temperate zone in eastern Asia.
The species are mostly
shrubs, though some are herbaceous, and a few can become small trees up to 5-6 m tall. Most are dry-season or winter deciduous. The leaves are pinnate with 5-31 leaflets and the terminal leaflet present. Leaf sizes vary from 3-25 cm. The flowers are small, produced on racemes 2-15 cm long.
"Indigofera" species are used as food plants by the
larvae of some Lepidopteraspecies including Turnip Moth.
Several of them and especially "
Indigofera tinctoria" and " Indigofera suffruticosa" are used to produce the dyeindigo.
aniline, from which many important dyes are derived, was first synthesized from "I. suffruticosa" (syn. "I. anil", whence the name aniline).
Several species of this group are used to alleviate pain. The herbs are generally regarded as an
analgesicwith anti-inflammatoryactivity, rather than an anodyne. [cite web|url=http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/dictionary/tico/a.html|title=Tico Ethnobotanical Dictionary|accessdate=2007-06-16] " Indigofera articulata" Gouan (arabic "Khedaish") was used for toothache, and " Indigofera oblongifolia" Forsskal (arabic "Hasr") was used as an anti-inflammatory for insect stings, snakebites, and swellings. [cite web|url=http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/syllabus/module10.htm|title=(syllabus: Duke University)] " Indigofera suffruticosa" and " Indigofera aspalthoides" have also been used as anti-inflammatories. [see references 8-9 in cite web|url=http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/3/2/261|title=Antimicrobial Activity of Indigofera suffruticosa] A patent was granted for use of Indigofera arrectaextract to relieve ulcer pain. [patent|US|6083509|"Phytodrug for management of peptic ulcer and methods of preparing and using same"]
* [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/splist.pl?6030 Germplasm Resources Information Network: "Indigofera"]
* [http://www.efloras.org/browse.aspx?flora_id=0&name_str=Indigofera&btnSearch=Search eFloras: search results for "Indigofera"]
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