Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement


Other Names:

Ban Lan Gen, Ban Lang Gen, Chinese Indigo, Da Qing Ye, Da Quing Ye, Dyer's Woad, Farberwaid (Färberwaid), Folium Isatidis, Genêt des Teinturiers, Guède, Hierba Pastel, Indigo, Indigo Naturalis, Indigo Woad, Isatis indigotica, Isatis tinct...
See All Names

ISATIS Overview
ISATIS Side Effects
ISATIS Interactions
ISATIS Overview Information

Isatis is a plant with small yellow flowers. It grows in different parts of northern and central China. The leaves and roots of the plant are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Isatis is used to treat the common cold and other infections of the nose, throat, and sinuses (upper respiratory tract infections), as well as infections of the glands that make saliva (parotitis). It is also used for encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain that is usually caused by infection; a liver disorder (hepatitis); pockets of infection (abscesses) in the lungs; digestive tract infections including dysentery and acute gastroenteritis; prostate cancer; and AIDS/HIV.

Isatis is applied directly to the skin for a skin condition, psoriasis. Some people also take isatis by mouth for this condition.

In manufacturing, isatis is used to make indigo dye.

How does it work?

Isatis might be able to fight bacteria and viruses that can cause infections. It also seems to be able to reduce fever and swelling. There is some interest in using isatis for cancer because it contains chemicals that might keep cancer cells from multiplying.

ISATIS Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Some research suggests that applying a specific product containing indigo naturalis oil extract (Lindioil) to the fingernails and the skin beneath the edge of the nail twice daily for 24 weeks improves psoriasis by 50% to 80%. There is also one report suggesting that an ointment containing isatis plus phellodendron and Baikal skullcap improved psoriasis in an 8-year old boy after usual treatments did not help.

Insufficient Evidence for:

More evidence is needed to rate isatis for these uses.

ISATIS Side Effects & Safety

Isatis is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin appropriately, short-term. A specific product containing the isatis constituent indigo naturalis as an oil extract (Lindioil), applied to the skin in doses of 0.05 to 0.1 mL twice daily, has been used safely for 24 weeks.

There isn’t enough reliable information available to know if taking isatis by mouth is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking isatis if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Aspirinallergy: Isatis contains chemicals that are similar to the chemicals in aspirin. There is a concern that isatis might trigger an asthma attack or an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.

ISATIS Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for ISATIS Interactions


The following dose has been studied in scientific research:


  • For scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis): A specific product containing a chemical in isatis called indigo naturalis as an oil extract (Lindioil), applied in doses of 0.05-0.01 mL to nail folds and the skin beneath the edge of the nail twice daily for 24 weeks, has been used.

See 11 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

vitamin rich groceries
Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
St Johns wart
Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
Are you getting enough?
Take your medication
Wonder pill or overkill?
fruits and vegetables
Woman sleeping
Woman staring into space with coffee
IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.