Alkanet is considered a medicinal plant due to its therapeutic, pharmaceutical, and other properties. It is native to Europe, the Mediterranean, and Western Asia and is grown in and imported from Albania, India, Egypt, and Turkey.
The bark of the root contains dying substances, which are aromatic diketones belonging to the classes commonly known as Alkannins and Shikonins.
Alkanet is the common name for a group of closely related plants in the Boraginaceae Alkanet family, including Alkanna tinctoria, the source of a crimson dye. It is commonly found in loading places, roadsides, yards, wastelands, and fields. It is known for its medicinal properties, including sedative, analgesic, and laxative properties.
Parts of the Alkanet Plant
The roots of the alkanet plant, specifically planted to produce a natural red dye, are extensively cultivated in Europe. The plant’s roots are dark red, appearing blackish from the outside but -red inside with a whitish central part.
Root powder used as the dye is insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol and oils. Alkanet root powder turns oil scarlet, but when applied to wood, it turns dark red-brown and highlights the grain.
Leaves and flowers
The blossoms of the alkanet plant are brilliant blue. Because it produces such lovely flowers, it is sometimes used as an ornamental.
Alkanet is a plant with edible leaves and branches that can be consumed similarly to spinach. Moreover, the plant’s blooms can be cooked or used as an appealing garnish.
The stems are covered with long white hairs, and the leaves have sparse white hairs on their upper sides, hairs along their margins, and a white “fur” on their undersides. The bright yellow to yellow-orange flowers occur in showy clusters at the ends of the stems. The blossoming period occurs in late spring and lasts for approximately one month.
Health Benefits of Alkanet
Alkanet root can improve blood circulation and reduce migraine and headache symptoms. In addition, you can use it to treat bone and muscle inflammation by applying alkanet root essential oil to the area. Alkanet root, with its benefit of anti-inflammation, will cure migraines and headaches.
Alkanet root extract is used to help scars heal because it keeps the skin from getting infected by bacteria and reduces inflammation. It is also used to heal scars due to its natural anti-inflammation ability and absorb heat from the skin. It is also helpful as a sunblock and sunburn.
Alkanet root is used to cool down a fever and induce sweating to speed up the healing process of fever pain. It is natural cooling character helps to cool down the fever, similar to traditional Ayurvedic healing. Additionally, it can induce sweat to speed up the healing process of a fever.
Hair and nail treatment
Alkanet root can make hair stronger and stop hair loss. It can also keep nails from getting damaged. It is a natural hair color that is safe and does not affect health. In addition, alkanet root extracted into oil can be used to cover the hair cuticle and prevent hair fall and the symptoms of baldness.
Alkanet root is beneficial for preventing cracking and inflammation of the nail. In addition, regularly using the essential oil of alkanet root can help prevent it from becoming irritated, sore, and infected.
Rheumatic pain relief
Alkanet root is an excellent way to treat rheumatoid arthritis. You can use essential oil or powder to relieve pain and stiffness. The rheumatic disease attacks muscles and nerves and can be overcome by continuously applying essential oil or consuming the powder.
Maintaining skin health
It reduces inflammation, treats acne, reduces dryness and improves skin elasticity. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of alkanet root can help keep the body from getting sick. It can also help keep your skin healthy and looking good by slowing aging and getting rid of wrinkles. Alkanet root powder or oil can help keep your skin healthy and beautiful by reducing signs of aging, wrinkles, and scars.
It may Promote and supports peak cardiovascular performance.
By letting an alkanet root soak in water and then getting its essence, it can be used to keep the heart healthy. It can help eliminate toxins in the body and improve how well the heart pumps blood. It also lowers blood pressure by making the cardiovascular system less sensitive to stress and lowering high blood pressure. Which helps prevent and prohibit heart attacks and reduce the risk of stroke disease. In addition, Alkanna roots have antioxidant activity that assists in neutralizing free radicals and protecting the body from cell damage.
Antifungal and skin healing
Alkane root is good at killing fungi, so it can help treat fungal skin diseases like phlegm, ringworm, and eczema.
Alkanet roots have the power to treat virus-based illnesses like herpes, which is a severe condition. Herpes alkanet root can also be applied to cure herpes, an immunity, and skin disorder caused by a virus.
By preventing wrinkles and aging that can result from external factors, alkanet root oil or powder can help keep skin healthy and beautiful. Applying alkanet root oil or powder can help protect the skin from foreign materials.
Uses of Alkanet
- Lip Balms
- Hair Dyes
- Used as a Natural Food Coloring: Red dye obtained from the roots is used as a food coloring.
- Used as a Natural Flavoring
- Used as a Natural Preservative
Alkanet root can cause acute liver failure, cirrhosis, pneumonitis, pulmonary hypertension, or heart failure. It can also cause hepatic or lung toxicity due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloid components.
There are a lot of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants that can be used as antibiotics, antitumor agents, antioxidants, and painkillers. For example, Alkanet is a medicinal plant rich in alkane and its derivatives, alkaloids, flavonoids, and other secondary compounds. These secondary metabolites are essential for medicine because they can be used as antibiotics, antitumor drugs, antioxidants, and painkillers.
LINKS TO RESEARCH REFERENCES
- Medicinal Plants of South Asia
- Alkanet, Anchusa officinalis
- Alkanna Species: A Promising Herbal Medicine and its Uses (fortuneonline.org)
- (PDF) Medicinal uses of spices used in our traditional culture: Worldwide (researchgate.net)
- Medicinal Plants of South Asia | ScienceDirect
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