Alkanet Root, Alkanna tinctoria, also known as Ratanjot, is a member of the borage family. The alkanet plant has bright blue flowers and a dark red root. When the roots are infused in oil or alcohol they release a beautiful red color that has been used since ancient times as a natural dye. The root is insoluble in water.
We use alkanet root to produce a natural blue or purple color in the soap. It was once used in Western Europe as rouge and is also used for producing natural dyes for fabrics.
This root is rarely used therapeutically, although it has astringent and antimicrobial properties and when used in an ointment, it can treat wounds and relieve skin inflammation. Oil made with alkanet is an emollient that is soothing and softening to the skin.