Polygonum tinctorium / Persicaria tinctoria / Japanse indigo

Persicaria tinctoria is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family. Common names include Chinese indigo and "Japanese indigo."[2][3] It is native to Eastern Europe and Asia.The leaves were a source of indigo dye. It was already in use in the Western Zhou period (ca. 1045-771 B.C.), and was the most important blue dye in East Asia until the arrival of Indigofera from the south.


Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2012 Aug;167(7):1986-2004. doi: 10.1007/s12010-012-9723-7. Epub 2012 May 29.
Chemical composition, antioxidant and anticancer effects of the seeds and leaves of indigo (Polygonum tinctorium Ait.) plant.
Jang HG1, Heo BG, Park YS, Namiesnik J, Barasch D, Katrich E, Vearasilp K, Trakhtenberg S, Gorinstein S.
Seeds and leaves of indigo (Polygonum tinctorium Ait.) plant were investigated and compared with another medicinal plant named prolipid for their properties such as chemical composition, antioxidant, and anticancer effects by Fourier transform infrared, three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy, and electrospray ionization-MS in negative mode. It was found that polyphenols, flavonoids, and flavanols were significantly higher in prolipid (P<0.05), following by indigo mature leaves, immature leaves, and seeds. Methanol extract of mature indigo leaves in comparison with the ethyl acetate extract showed higher inhibition of proliferation. The interaction between polyphenol extracts of indigo mature leaves and BSA showed that indigo has a strong ability, as other widely used medicinal plants, to quench the intrinsic fluorescence of BSA by forming complexes. In conclusion, indigo mature leaves were compared with prolipid. High content of bioactive compounds, antioxidant, fluorescence, and antiproliferative properties of indigo justifies the use of this plant as a medicinal plant and a new source of antioxidants.



Extract of the leaves of the indigo plant (Polygonum tinctorium Lour.) was examined for antimicrobial activity against oral pathogenic bacteria. The indigo plant extract at concentrations of 1.74–3.48 mg/ml inhibited the growth of oral cariogenic and periodontopathic bacteria. Tryptanthrin, one of the components of indigo plant extract, showed the strongest antimicrobial effect at doses ranging from 3.13–25 μg/ml, indicating that this compound is one of the active ingredients. Furthermore, treatment of periodontopathic bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia with the indigo plant extract for 3–8 h resulted in death of the bacteria in a dose-dependent manner, whereas Streptococcus mutans was not affected by the extract. Thus, for its antimicrobial and bactericidal effects on oral pathogens, indigo plant extract would provide useful material for preventing and treating periodontal diseases and dental caries.

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