Assessing Indigofera tinctoria L. as a forgotten medicinal-industrial plant and the importance of its revitalization for the sustainability of Iran's agricultural ecosystems

Document Type : Review paper


Department of Agrotechnology, Majoring in Ecological Plants of Khuzestan University of Agricultural, Ahvaz, Iran


Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria L.) belongs to the legume family and its original habitat is India. The extracted dye from its leaves has been known in ancient civilizations, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, England, Central America, Peru, Iran and Africa. In 1986, the area under cultivation of this plant was about 1694 hectares. In 2016, the cultivation of this plant has been reduced to 265 hectares. This study is a type of developmental research and review, its method is library survey, and data were collected by note taking tools. The results indicated that indigo can be considered as one of the forgotten plants in the country due to declining trend in the area of cultivation. This plant is currently cultivated only in some areas of Kerman province such as Fahraj, Jiroft and Regan, and in most of these areas, it grows wild in pastures and mountains at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level. Therefore, in order to preserve and protect this useful and important species, it should be used in crop rotations and stable ecosystems. Also it is necessary to identify and generalize all the issues of this medicinal-industrial crop and proper planning should be done to prevent the process of forgetfulness.

Graphical Abstract

Assessing Indigofera tinctoria L. as a forgotten medicinal-industrial plant and the importance of its revitalization for the sustainability of Iran's agricultural ecosystems


  • Indigo plant is one of the forgotten functional plants in Iran.
  • This plant can be considered in order to increase the sustainability in agriculture and the appropriate planting pattern in the region.
  • In addition to being used as a medicine in traditional medicine, indigo is also used to produce natural dyes.
  • This plant has the ability to be introduced and used as a forage edible plant.


Main Subjects

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