Αλκάνα / Χάβα Τζίβα Ρίζα (Alkanna Tinctoria)
The Mediterranean native borage-family alkanet plant has a beautiful blue blossom, but its root is black on the outside and dark red on the inside. It's best known for its root being used to produce a dye to give natural fabrics and wood a ruby red hue, soluble in oil but not in water.
“Alkanna tinctoria” is the scientific name for the alkanet plant. The name “alkanna” is derived from the Arabic word for henna. It's worth noting that henna is the name of another plant (“Lawsonia inermis”) that's also utilized for medicinal and coloring purposes. The term “tinctoria” is derived from a Greek word that means "paint." Bugloss and dyer's bugloss are two more names for alkanet.
For millennia, European farmers in the continent's central and southern regions have grown alkanet. Its medicinal usefulness may be traced all the way back to Dioscorides, who included observations about the plant in his Materia Medica. Dioscorides thought alkanet was a good ulcer treatment.
Alkanna is a powerful wound healer that softens and soothes inflamed skin while also having anti-aging properties. Alkanet root hair oil prevents all scalp illnesses, including dandruff and premature hair greying, and promotes hair growth.
BONUS TIP: Use a Carrier oil to infuse the roots for a dark Red/Burgundy to Purple or Pink color that can be utilized in soap and other applications. For a deeper tint, combine it with red clay.
Alkanet root is currently mostly used as a coloring agent and should not be consumed. This product is not intended for internal usage.
◉ Herbs and botanicals should be stored in airtight glass containers -in a cool, dark, and dry area- to preserve their flavor and properties.
◉ While the plant's leaves and blossoms can be eaten as vegetables, the roots have negligible nutritional value. One popular application for alkanet root is to color oils.