Isatis

Latin names: Radix isatidis, Isatis tinctoria L., Folium isatidis
Chinese names: ban lan gen, da qing ye (meaning “big green-blue leaves” in English)
Other names: indigo woad leaves, indigo woad root, isatis leaves, isatis root

What is Isatis?
Isatis is the indigo plant, famous for its dark color and blue dye. The isatis root and leaves have many similar properties. Documented medicinal use of isatis in the Western tradition extends back to at least the first century AD. The root is well known to treat sore throat with intense pain and toxins caused by infection. The leaves are commonly used to clear fever and skin rashes.

What are the health benefits of Isatis?
The isatis root is an antibiotic and stimulates the immune system. It is used to treat fever, sore throat, tonsillitis, flu, a flushed and swollen face, hepatitis, chickenpox, herpes, and some skin infections. There are prepared herb mixtures that include isatis root, which can be used to make a tea for treatment of a sore throat and flu. The isatis leaves are also antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, and they have been shown to have a positive effect against certain types of cancer. Isatis leaves are used to relieve fever and sore throat, as well as measles, jaundice, meningitis, and certain types of hot skin rashes. The leaves can be used both internally and externally.

Are there any precautions for taking Isatis?
Isatis root should be used with caution by patients taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet drugs such as Warfarin or Aspirin. Isatis roots and leaves should be used with caution by those who are allergic to the sulfonamide-based groups of drugs, sometimes called sulfa drugs.

Where can I find Isatis?

Isatis can be found in health food or vitamin stores, online, and at the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Cold & Flu, which supports the body’s ability to fight infections.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.