Botanical Names

Anchusa officinalis,Alkanna Tinctoria, Common Bugloss

Common Names

Alkanet Root, Alkanat Root, Ratanjot, Bugloss, Dyer’s Bugloss Root, Orchanet Root, Spanish Bugloss Root, Batschia Canescens, Hoary Puccoon and Lithospermum Canescens.

The name alkanet derived from Arabic means henna, because of the red color of the roots with a flaky paper-like covering. Alkanet Roots are largely used as a natural coloring or dyeing agent. It is occasionally cultivated as a dye plant. The plant prefers light and well-drained soil (neutral and basic alkaline soils) and useful plant for dry sandy or alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade or no shade.

A ruby red to purple dye is obtained from the roots. It is used by pharmacists and cosmetic industries, usually in perfumes, lipsticks, lip balm, ointments, soaps(to yield a fine red, purple, pink or blue color), tincture and also to stain wood or marble. It is commonly used today as a food coloring. The dye is used in thermometers and as a litmus to test for acids and alkalines.

Alkanet Roots are also used as tea and sometimes mixed with different natural herbs to treat cough and throat troubles. Alkanet Roots are the best source of treating infections such as in jaundice, gravel in the kidneys and spleen infections.The root is antibacterial, antipruritic, astringent and vulnerary. Its used externally in the treatment of varicose veins, indolent ulcers and itching rashes.

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