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Bapto: Greek: to dye
Tingere: Latin: to paint
Wild Indigo; Yellow Indigo;
Horsefly Weed; Indigo Broom; Rattle Bush; Yellow Broom.
German: Faerberhuelse; wilder Indigo
French: Indigo Sauvage
Synonym: Sophora Tinctoria; Podalyria Tinctoria.
Tincture of fresh root and its bark.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Fabales;
Leguminosae / Fabaceae / Papilionaceae - Legume Family / Pea Family
Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. 11, 31; X, 372.
Introduced by Dr. Thompson in1857
Proved by Douglas, Burt, Hadley and others.
32 pages in Hale's New Remedies.
Description of the substance
Habitat: Wild Indigo is indigenous to the Canadas and the United States. It grows as far south as Florida and west to the Mississippi, plentifully however only near the coast, where it delights in the dry, sandy soils. Also to be found in woods and on hills.
Botanical Description: It blooms in July and August, having bright yellow flowers, in small loose clusters at the ends of the branches. It resembles a shrub, and grows from one to two feet high. The fruit is an oblong pod of a bluish black color. it contains indigo, tannin, an acid, and baptisin. When the whole plant or any portion of it is dried, it becomes black and affords a blue dye, inferior to Indigo.
Smooth branching, leaves nearly destitute of a stalk, leaflets small, roundish, acute at base, very obtuse at apex; stipules bristly, falling off early; racemes loose, terminal; legumes nearly round. A plant with bluish green foliage, frequent in dry soils. Stem very bushy, about two and one half feet high. Leaflets about seven lines by four to six long, emarginate; petiole one to two lines. Flowers six to twelve or more in each raceme. Petals six lines long, yellow. Legume (seed vessel) about as long as a pea pod, on a long stipule, mostly one - seeded.
The young shoots of this plant resemble, in form and general appearance, those of asparagus, and have been used, especially in New England, in lieu of that herb for a stew, often leading to drastic purging.
It is non-odorous, but has a nauseous acrid taste. The whole plant emits an unpleasant odour if bruised.