Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria, Family Fabaceae) is small shrub which is cultivated for blue dye which is obtained from leaves and roots of the plant. It is the oldest known natural dye. Indigo is also known as Nilika, Nila, Nili, Nilini, Nilapushpa, Ranjani, Shaaradi, Tutthaa, Attipurashadam and many other names. In Ayurveda, the use of its leaves, roots, and seeds is mentioned for treating various diseases.
Neel/ Indigo is also used in preparation of various hair care products such as Neelibhringadi Taila/oil which is medicated hair oil for promoting hair growth and treating premature hair greying.
Indigo is also used as herbal hair dye either alone or with henna for colouring hair. It gives hair blue-black hue. You can buy Indigo powder available in market or from online store. It is green colour powder obtained from leaves of the indigo plant. When this powder is soaked in water for 15-20 minutes then only blue dyestuff is obtained by fermentation from another agent indocan present in leaf powder.
For dyeing grey hairs, it is advised to first apply henna in hairs. This will give brown colour to hair. For henna paste preparation, soak henna leaves powder, amla powder in iron vessel for 12-24 hours. Apply this paste in hair for 1-3 hours. Then rinse hair with water.
This makes colour brown and provides base for indigo powder paste which gives blue colour to hair. So the combination of henna and indigo gives hair blue-black colour. For preparing Indigo paste, Take Indigo leaf powder in a bowl and add water till a thick paste suitable for hair application is obtained. Apply this paste in hairs for 1-3 hours. Then wash off with plain water.
Indigo not only colours grey hair but also cures dandruff and lice. It stimulates hair growth. It is non-toxic and non-allergic on skin and hair and hence safe to use.