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Family Leguminosae / Fabaceae
Indigofera hirsuta Linn.

Mao mu lan

Scientific names Common names
Anila hirsuta (L.) Kuntze Taiuman (Tag.)
Indigofera ferruginea Schum. & Thonn. Taium-taiuman (Tag.)
Indigofera fusca G.Don Tayuman (Tag.)
Indigofera hirsuta Linn. Tayum-tayuman (Tag.)
Indigofera hirta Bojer Hairy indigo (Engl.)
Indigofera indica Miller Narrow-leaved indigo (Engl.)
  Rough hairy indigo (Engl.)
Quisumbing's compilation has Indigofera tinctoria as synonyms for (1) Indigofera hirsuta, Indigo tinctoria Naves, taiuman, and (2) Indigofera tinctoria Linn, tina-tinaan
Indigofera hirsuta L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
AFRICA: Korye.
BENIN: Asowale, Osagbo.
CHINESE: Ying mao mu lan, Gang mao mu lan, Mao mu lan, Tai ching.
CONGO: Bamilawoukou, Etinia, Kamilawuku.
FRENCH: Indigotier herisse.
INDIA: Andhi-neel, Andho bukario, Ban Kaddi, Birson, Kali kathi, Kattutagera, Kolapattitulu, Peru vempali, Tattaikkarunkollu.
INDONESIA: Tom-toman, Jukut lulut, Tebawang amjak.
JAPANESE: Tanuki-koma-tsunagi.
KENYA: Mchenene.
MADAGASCAR: Angitratainakoho, Patry, Sarivoanjo, Takosifotra, Tasiasotry.
MALAYSIA: Cermai burong.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Tildjil, Wiereka.
TANZANIAN: Mruturutu, Mitapo.
THAI: Khram-khon.
VIETNAMESE: C[aa]y c[or] ch[af]m, C[aa]y s[uj]c s[ak]c ma, Ch[af]m l[oo]ng/

Gen info
Indigofera is a large genus of about 700 species of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae / Leguminosae, occurring throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Species are mostly shrubs, some are herbaceous, a few are small trees.

Taiuman is an erect, branched, annual, half-woody herb, growing from 0.4 to 1 meter high. Stems are reddish brown, and covered with spreading brown or purplish hairs. Leaves are 8 to 15 centimeters long. Stipules are linear, hairy, and 1 centimeter long. Leaflets are obovate, 5 to 11, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, hairy, and pale beneath. Flowers are about 6 millimeters long, reddish purple, crowded in axillary racemes which are 6 to 20 centimeters long. Pods are straight, reflexed, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long, about 2.5 millimeters wide, covered with browns, spreading hairs, containing 4 to 6 seeds.

- In waste places in and about towns.
- An introduced weed.
- Pantropic.

- Yields indigo.
- Phytochemical screening yielded nine phenolic and six flavonoid compounds.
- Study yields high water soluble ash and total ash content, with acid insoluble ash in all parts.
- Phytochemical analysis of leaf and fruit (mg/g) yielded total phenols of 50.7 (leaf/alcohol) and 123.9 (fruit/methanol), total flavonoids 30.21±0.04 (L) 32.07+0.03 (F), total alkaloids 15.20± (L) 18.25 ±0.03 (F), total saponins 0.13±0.01 (L) 0.25±0.04 (F). (see study below) (6)
- Study of aerial parts isolated two flavonol glycosides: Kaempferol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (T2) and Kaempferol-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (Q3). (see study below) (7)
- Phytochemical screening of fruits yielded 14 phytoconstituents viz. alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, glycosides, tannins, and steroids in the aqueous, methanol, alcohol, ethyl acetate and chloroform extracts. Anthocyanins, anthroquinones, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, proteins, lignins, saponins, and terpenoids were found in limited quantities. Fixed oils were absent. (see study below) (9)
- Study showed phenols were the largest group of phytoconstituents in leaf methanol extracts (124 mg/g), flavonoids and alkaloids were highest in the fruit (32 mg/g and 18.25 mg/g, respectively). (10)

- Considered expectorant, anthelmintic, hepatoprotective, stomachic and antidiarrheal.
- Studies have suggested anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticancer and radical scavenging properties.

Parts used


- In the Philippines, decoction of fresh leaves given for diarrhea and as stomachic.
- In the Gold Coast, decoction of leaves used as lotion for yaws.
- In India, decoction of fresh leaves given for cerebral disorders.
- In Kenya, used for chest pains. In Tanganyika, whole plant preparation used as external application for back pain. Leaf decoction used for stomach ache and diarrhea. (9)
- Agri: Grown as cover crop and green manure.
- Dye: Used to produce the an indigo dye.

Antibacterial / Phytochemicals / Leaves: Study of ethanolic and methanolic leaf extracts showed inhibition of four bacterial strains viz. Bacillus subtilis, E. coli, Staph aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antibacterial activity was more effective than control drug Ampicillin. Phytochemical screening yielded nine phenolic and six flavonoid compounds. (1)
Phytochemical Evaluation: Study showed phenols are the largest constituents in leaf methanol extracts (124 mg/g); flavonoids (32 mg/g) and alkaloids (18.25 mg/g) are highest in fruit. (see constituents above) (6)
Anti-Inflammatory / Flavonol Glycosides / Aerial Parts: Study isolated two flavonol glycosides. The n-butanol soluble fraction exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in a carrageenan-induced paw edema model. (see constituents above) (7)
Anti-Radical Activity / Aerial Parts: Study of aqueous and methanol extract of aerial parts yielded tryptophan, uracil, rutin, kaempferal-3-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside, gallic acid and methyl gallate. Rutin, methyl gallate and gallic acid showed strong anti-radical activity. (8)
• Antibacterial / Fruits:
Study evaluated various extracts of fruits for antibacterial activity against B. subtilis, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and E. coli. Methanol and alcohol extracts showed most effective antibacterial activity with lower concentration (0.019 to 0.039 mg) against all tested bacterial strains, compared with ampicillin 10 mg/ml. (see constituents above) (9)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Cytotoxicity Against Cancer Cell Lines / Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Leaves: Study reports on the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using aqueous leaf extract of Indigofera hirsuta. The AgNPs showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against prostate cancer (PC3, IC50 68.5 µg/mL), colon cancer (COLO205, IC50 85.2 µg/mL), and mouse melanoma (B16F10, IC50 80.9 µg/mL). The AgNPs showed effective in vitro antioxidant activity against DPPH and H2O2 radicals and effective antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. (11)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated May 2018 / October 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Hairy Indigo (Indigofera hirsuta) (6372953579).jpg /Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! / 17 November 2011 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license / Click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Public Domain / File: Indigofera hirsuta /
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: SEEDS / Indigofera hirsuta L. / roughhairy indigo / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Phytochemicals and antibacterial studies of Indigofera hirsuta Linn. / N. Yasodamma, A. Suvarnalatha, Mehar S K, Paramageetham C / TropMedPlants, 2009; Vol 10, No1: pp.27-29

Indigofera hirsuta L. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Indigofera hirsuta L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Indigofera hirsuta L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
. / A. SUVARNALATHA, N. YASODAMMA, C. ALEKHYA, D. CHAITHRA. / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 6, Issue 4, 2014
Quantitative Phytochemical Evaluation of Indigofera hirsuta L. Plant Parts
/ *A. Suvarna Latha, N. Yasodamma / International Journal of Pharma Research & Review, May 2015; 4(5):1-5

Flavonol Glycosides from the Aerial Parts of Indigofera hirsuta and Anti-inflammatory Activity of n-butanol Fraction / L. S. Abbas*, A. M. Musa, M. I. Abdullahi, M. G. Magaji, M. I. Sule and B. Bawa / British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, ISSN: 2231-2919,Vol.: 3, Issue.: 4 (October-December)
Identification of some chemical constituents of Indigofera hirsuta Linn. (Fabaceae) by HPLC-ESI-MS (TOF) and evaluation of the antiradical activity / Adriana Candido da Silva Moura*; Wagner Vilega; Lourdes Campaner dos Santos / Quím. Nova vol.34 no.7 São Paulo 2011 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-40422011000700006
Phytochemical and Antibacterial Studies of Indigofera hirsuta L. Fruit Extracts / A. Suvarnalatha*, N. Yasodamma, D. Chaithra. / INDO AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH (2013); Vol 3, Issue 5
Quantitative Phytochemical Evaluation of Indigofera hirsuta L. Plant Parts / A. S uvarna Latha, N. Yasodamma / International Journal of Pharma Research & Review, May 2015; 4(5): pp 1-5
Biogenesis of silver nanoparticles using leaf extract of Indigofera hirsuta L. and their potential biomedical applications (3-in-1 system). / Netala VR, Bukke S, Domdi L, Soneya S, G Reddy S, Bethu MS, Saritha KV, Tartte V / Artificial Cells, Nanomedicine, and Biotechnology, Mar 07, 2018 / PMID 29513113

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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