Baptisia is a genus of plants.
Baptisia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia jaguarina.
Baptisia australis, commonly known as Blue Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo, is a herbaceous perennial in the pea family. It is native to much of the central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest, but it has also been introduced well beyond its natural range. The plant may attain a height of 1.5 meteres (5 feet) and a width of 1 metre (3.2 feet), but most often it is encountered at about 1 metre tall (3.2 feet) with a 0.6 metre spread (2 feet). It is well known in gardens due to its attractive pea-like, deep blue flowers that emerge on spikes in the late spring and early summer. It requires little maintenance and is quite hardy. The seed pods are popular in flower arrangements, which also contribute to its popularity in cultivation. Several American Indians tribes made use of the plant for a variety of purposes. The Cherokees used it as a source of blue dye, a practice later copied by European settlers. They also would use the roots in teas as a purgative or to treat tooth aches and nausea, while the Osage made an eyewash with the plant.
Baptisia has been used as an antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, febrifuge,and stimulant purgative. This plant is said to stimulate immune responses to infection, and is used for ear, nose and throat problems, laryngitis, tonsillitis, as a wash for mouth ulcers, and a douche for leucorrhea. Baptisia is considered toxic. Do not use this plant unless under the supervision of a trained qualified practitioner. It is not for long term use and not to be used if pregnant. The bark of the root is harvested in autumn. The leaves may be harvested anytime.
Native Americans used root tea of False blue indigo as an emetic and purgative. A cold tea was given to stop vomiting, a root poultice used as an anti-inflammatory, and bits of the root were held in the mouth to treat toothaches. Baptisia species are being investigated for use as a potential stimulant of the immune system. A decoction of stems has been used for pneumonia, tuberculosis and influenza, tips of stems combined with twigs of the Utah juniper, Juniperus osteosperma, have been used as a kidney medicine. Baptisia has also been used as a tea (tisane) for smallpox and externally as a cleansing wash. Trials using the extract of Baptisia to treat typhoid fever were made in the early 19th century. Current uses for this plant include: infection of upper respiratory tract, common cold, tonsillitis, stomatitis, inflammation of mucous membrane, fever, ointment for painless ulcers, inflamed nipples. Over-medicating will produce vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal complaints, and spasms due toquinolizidine alkaloid content.
Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo), also known as White False Indigo is a herbaceous plant.
Baptisia tinctoria, commonly called yellow false indigo or horseflyweed, is a herbaceous perennial in the family Fabaceae. It is native to North America.
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