Alkanets/Ratan Jot (رتن جوت, ابوخلسا، شخجار حنا الغول، شنکارہوچویہ، جوگی بادشاہ) also known as Onosma Echioides Linn, are members of the Boraginaceae family of plants to which borage (gao zaban) belongs. Alkanets have been grown for the dye their roots produce which has been used as a substitute for henna. The roots red dye is fat soluble, so this plant has been used to dye ointments, oils, and waxes and is frequently used in soaps, lotions, and makeup products across the world today. Because of its pigmentation properties, alkanet root are largely used for dying wood and fabrics. In wood staining, alkanet is a fine imitation of rosewood, or mahogany. It is also used in varnishes for fine wood products, such as violins.
- Tisanes of the leaves and roots are used to relieve persistent coughs and promote sweating during fevers.
- They are also supposed to be able to lift depression and banish melancholia. The expressed juice from alkanet was good for pleurisy.
- It is used on the skin for any irritation or rash and soothes and softens it.
- It is used as an astringent for wounds.
- It is used as a blood purifier to expel toxins from the body with its diuretic action.
- It is also used to treat stomach ulcers and diarrhea.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
It is UNSAFE to use Alkanet in pregnancy. It’s also best to avoid use of Alkanet during breast-feeding.
People with liver disease should avoid use of Alkanet.