Isatis Leaf
Related names: Isatidis baphicacanthi, Isatis tinctoria, Isatis indigotica,
Dyer's woad leaf, Indigo, Daqingye
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The lsatis leaf is a source of indigo dye. This plant has been used in Ayurvedic and
Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years. In combination with other herbs, it is used
to treat common cold, sore throat, mumps, respiratory aliments, other febrile diseases and
malignant tumors. Its popular side effects are nausea and vomiting. [1]

Active Ingredients
Its active ingredients include indirubin, isatin B, glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin,
glucobrassicin-1-sulfonate, and indigotin.

Research Findings
The herbal Isatis tinctoria extract (ITE) inhibits the inducible isoform of cyclooxygenase
(COX-2) as well as lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and therefore possesses anti-inflammatory
properties. The plant extract Isatis tinctoria L. extract (ITE) was shown to inhibit
allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperreactivity in mice. [3]

Isatis indigotica (I. indigotica), Cruciferae, has been used in Chinese medicine for
anti-leukemia and anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). A recent in vitro-study
showed that indirubin, one of the biological active compounds of Isatis indigotica, had the
most significant cytotoxicity on HL-60 cells and inhibitory effect on PrV replication. Extracts
from roots and leaves of Isatis indigotica also presented CPE inhibition either before or
after infection of PrV on porcine kidney (PK-15) cells. Leaf extracts had better virucidal
activity than roots. [4]

[1] Huang KC. The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, 2nd ed. New York: CRC Press; 1999.
[2] Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Revised Ed. Seattle:
Eastland Press; 1993.
[3] Brattström A, Schapowal A, Kamal MA, Maillet I, Ryffel B, Moser R. The plant extract
Isatis tinctoria L. extract (ITE) inhibits allergen-induced airway inflammation and
hyperreactivity in mice.Phytomedicine. 2010 Jul;17(8-9):551-6.
[4] Hsuan SL, Chang SC, Wang SY, Liao TL, Jong TT, Chien MS, Lee WC, Chen SS, Liao
JW. The cytotoxicity to leukemia cells and antiviral effects of Isatis indigotica extracts on
pseudorabies virus. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 May 4;123(1):61-7.