Ban Lan Gen, Ban Lang Gen, Chinese Indigo, Da Qing Ye, Da Quing Ye, Dyer's Woad, Färberwaid, Folium Isatidis, Genêt des Teinturiers, Guède, Hierba Pastel, Indigo, Indigo Naturalis, Indigo Woad, Isatis indigotica, Isatis tinctoria, Pastel des Teinturiers, Qing Dai, Quing Dai, Radix Isatidis, Woad.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

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

Isatis is used to treat upper airway infections, scaly itchy skin (psoriasis), diarrhea, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

In manufacturing, isatis is used to make indigo dye.

How does it work?

Isatis seems 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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Some research shows that applying a specific product containing an isatis leaf extract called indigo naturalis in olive oil (Lindioil) to the fingernails and the skin beneath the edge of the nail twice daily for 24 weeks improves psoriasis.

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate isatis for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Isatis is POSSIBLY SAFE when the root is used by mouth and appropriately, short-term. The safety of long-term use is unclear.

When applied to the skin: Isatis is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin appropriately, short-term. A specific product containing an isatis leaf extract called indigo naturalis in olive oil (Lindioil) applied to the skin in doses of 0.05 to 0.1 mL twice daily, has been used safely for 24 weeks. The safety of long-term use is unclear.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if isatis is safe to use when 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.



We currently have no information for ISATIS Interactions.



The following dose has been studied in scientific research:


  • For scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis): A specific extract of isatis called indigo naturalis, in olive oil extract (Lindioil), applied in doses of 0.05-0.1 mL to nail folds and the skin beneath the edge of the nail twice daily for 24 weeks, has been used.

View References


  • Danz H, Stoyanova S, Thomet OA, et al. Inhibitory activity of tryptanthrin on prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis. Planta Med 2002;68:875-80. View abstract.
  • Hamburger M. Isatis tinctoria - From the rediscovery of an ancient medicinal plant towards a novel anti-inflammatory phytopharmaceutical. Phytochemistry Reviews 2002;1:333-44.
  • Ho YL, Chang YS. Studies on the antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and anti pyretic effects of Isatis indigotica root. Phytomedicine 2002;9:419-24. View abstract.
  • Hoessel R, Leclerc S, Endicott JA, et al. Indirubin, the active constituent of a Chinese antileukaemia medicine, inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases. Nat Cell Biol 1999;1:60-7. View abstract.
  • Lin YK, Chang YC, Hui RC, See LC, Chang CJ, Yang CH, Huang YH. A Chinese Herb,Indigo Naturalis, Extracted in Oil (Lindioil) Used Topically to Treat Psoriatic Nails: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Mar 4. Epub ahead of print. View abstract.
  • Lin YK, Yen HR, Wong WR, et al. Successful treatment of pediatric psoriasis with Indigo naturalis composite ointment. Pediatr Dermatol 2006;23:507-10. View abstract.
  • Mak NK, Leung CY, Wei XY, et al. Inhibition of RANTES expression by indirubin in influenza virus-infected human bronchial epithelial cells. Biochem Pharmacol 2004;67:167-74. View abstract.
  • Molina P, Tarraga A, Gonzalez-Tejero A, et al. Inhibition of leukocyte functions by the alkaloid isaindigotone from Isatis indigotica and some new synthetic derivatives. J Nat Prod 2001;64:1297-300. View abstract.
  • Oberthur C, Graf H, Hamburger M. The content of indigo precursors in Isatis tinctoria leaves--a comparative study of selected accessions and post-harvest treatments. Phytochemistry 2004;65:3261-8. View abstract.
  • Xu T, Zhang L, Sun X, et al. Production and analysis of organic acids in hairy-root cultures of Isatis indigotica Fort. (indigo woad). Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2004;39:123-8. View abstract.

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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 2018.