The use of natural cosmetics in the Alkanet

child applying blush Have you ever wondered how to get the color in its natural, such as lip balms and lotions cosmetics, without using a synthetic product? I recently came across a plant extract that can add a red tint to his home made cosmetics. the Alkanet is a plant that is also known by the names alkanet dyer or Bugloss dyer because of its common use in natural cosmetics.

Plant Profile of the Alkanet

the Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) belongs to the plant family Boraginaceae . It is native to the Mediterranean region. There are several related species of plants that go by the name alkanet but Alkanna tinctoria used in cosmetics red dye. The red dye is obtained from the roots have dark red plant despite flowers Alkanna tinctoria are usually blue-purple in color ( source ).

Other species of plants of the Alkanet

is perhaps best known some of the other species alkanet also, that the wrong type of henna is not used in cosmetic products (see note also at end of article). Other plant species alkanet are closely related to the species, size and color and include:

  • Anchusa / Alkana officinalis – Common Bugloss or alkanet. This plant has flowers purple / violet color, narrow leaves and grows up to 2 feet tall. It blooms in June and July
  • Alkanna sempervireus – alkanet evergreen. This plant has large blue flowers, oval leaves and grows to about 4 feet tall. It blooms from May to August
  • Alkanna azurea -. This plant has large blue flowers (with white tufts), narrow leaves and grows to 4 feet tall

Medicinal uses of the Alkanet

the Alkanet is an ancient herb it has been used for medicinal purposes in the past; according to Maud Grieve in A Modern Herbal , English herbalist and botanist Nicholas Culpeper (1616 -165) wrote that alkanet could be used for medicinal purposes for inflammation, ulcers, jaundice, bruising, smallpox and measles, depending on how it was taken.

Cosmetic Uses the Alkanet

the Alkanet also has many other uses, especially as a colorant. Henna roots are insoluble in water and red dye produced from them is used for soap color, oil, perfume, grease and other pharmaceuticals ( source ). In addition, alkanet root has been used to stain the wood to look like rosewood or mahogany. Also it used as food coloring and additives.

Using the Alkanet of Color Cosmetics

The color produced from the roots henna is red or purple red in color, depending on how you use and depending on the plant. The most common color is red, although tones of the final product may vary. Alkanet to use as a coloring in cosmetics, perform the following:

  • place the roots in an organic, such as sunflower or almond oil carrier oil; This is called infusion or maceration. Add about one cup of dried alkanet roots to a bottle of carrier oil and mix (source: aromatherapy A complete guide to the art of healing , Kathi Keville and green Mindy ) . However, you may need to vary the amount depending on the cosmetic product that you are doing and the intensity of the color you like
  • place in a warm place (like the sill of a sunny window) and after about days (including some tremors and agitation as in the normal process of infusion), check the process and, if necessary, add more plant material / stop longer. Separate the roots of oil by the oil effort against
  • use the oil in the manufacture of your cosmetic product; for example, a simple house made lip balm recipe is beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil. You can be used oil-infused alkanet almond oil instead of regular almonds. Make your cosmetic product in the usual way.

This process can be used for other herbs which are used as “dyes” or natural colors, for cosmetics.

Natural Color in cosmetics

The use of herbs and plants in cosmetics is not new; ladies ancient Egyptians and Romans used different parts of the plant for cosmetic applications much in the same way that regular use store bought cosmetics today. However, many store bought cosmetics contain chemicals and synthetic materials, even those that claim to be the easiest way to know what is in your cosmetic products is to make them yourself “natural.” – And if you want to add a little color, use plants and herbs as alkanet!

Note: The Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) is currently very difficult to obtain from suppliers in the United States; many US suppliers are selling Batschia canescens as “alkanet.” This is not the same plant or product as Alkanna tinctoria , although it can produce similar results. Check with the vendor for more information before buying or find an alternative.

Photo by Richat

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