If you’ve ever eaten a delicious Kashmiri dish like Rohan josh or tandoori chicken, you may wonder about its red color form. Ratan jot has the answer.
Ratan Jot or Alkanna tinctoria is also known as alkanet that comes under the borage family.
It acts as a food color and is widely used in several houses. It is the best alternative for a tomato that adds the red color to your dishes, but its taste does not exactly match the tomato.
After all the cooking benefits, Alkanna root, given some health and medicinal benefits. For centuries, the alkanet has been used as a healthy herb.
Every part of this plant, particularly its root, gives numerous health benefits and can treat some common ailments.
For centuries, southern parts of European farmers cultivated alkanet. It is one of the invasive species in the United states. It is widely grown in the Northeast as well as in the Midwest.
Read on the traditional and medicinal properties, side effects, and safety precautions of this herb here.
Ratan jot is a twenty-year or perennial herbaceous plant that can grow height up to 0.3 to 0.6 m. You can find this plant in prime rangelands, grazing pastures, pine forests, alfalfa fields, as well as ripening and waste or desolate lands. It vigorously grows in fertile, humus-rich, moist, and well-drained soil and even can grow in nutrient-poor soil.
The root of this plant is dark red with a black appearance on the outside as well as a blue-red, white core on the inside. Its root includes an excellent red pigment that has been used to make a dye in the Mediterranean region since ancient times. Moreover, it can be used to color wines, alcohol tinctures, vegetable oils, and varnishes. Its stems come with prostate and branched. It is covered with long white hairs.
Its leaves are about 1-2 inches long and have rounded tips. The lower leaves of the stem can grow about eight inches long while the upper part leaves of the herb are narrow; The shape of these leaves are elliptical. These leaves go up to six inches long by one inch wide. The leaves have white hairs scattered on their upper sides, hairs on the sides, and a white “fur” at the base.
Flower & Fruit
The flower comes with the blue to purple in color, trumpet-shaped, 1-sided scorpioid racemes. Generally, the species occurs in a purple-blue color, but some species are in yellow or white. The calyx expands into a fruit. From June to July, the flowering will occur. The root, which is often very large depending on the plant’s size, produces a red dye in many organisms. As a dye, the root is soluble in alcohol, ether, and oils but insoluble in water. Moreover, it acts as a colorant for wines, varnishes, and alcohol tinctures.
Ratanjot Chemical Composition
Ratanjot/Alkanet contain some major compounds that are 1H-enzotriazole, 4-diazo-, ethane, 2-chloroethyl methanesulfonate, 1-dichloro- and 4-Nitro. Apart from these compounds, it also has napthaquinones. Some of the essential napthaquinones are angelylalkannin, alkandiol, alkannin, alkanfuranol, angelylalkannin, dimethylacryl alkannin, acetylalkanin, and 5-methoxyangenylalkannin.
Quick Facts about Alkana Root (Ratan Jot)
Name : Alkanet
Scientific Name : Alkanna tinctoria
Origin : Mediterranean region
Flavor / Aroma : Faint odor
Shapes : Minute nut like fruits
Plant Size : 0.3 to 0.6 m in height
Flowering Periods : June to July
Kingdom : Plantae (Plants)
Order : Lamiales
Superdivision : Spermatophyta (Seed plants)
Division : Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
Infrakingdom : Streptophyta (land plants)
Species : Alkanna tinctoria (L.) Tausch (alkanna)
Class : Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Subclass : Asteridae
Family : Boraginaceae (Borage family)
Genus : Alkanna Tausch (alkanna)
Ratan Jot is Also Known as
Alkanna tinctoria, Lithospermum lehmanii, Alkanet, Radix Anchusae, Anchusa, Alkanna lehmanii, Dyer’s Bugloss, Orcanette des Teinturiers,Buglosse des Teinturiers, Alkanna Radix, Orcanette, Alkanna tuberculata, Anchusa bracteolata, Henna, Orcan ète, Orchanet, Anchusa tuberculata.
Traditional Benefits of Alkanna Root (Ratan jot)
Its root is antibacterial, antipruritic, astringent, and vulnerable.
You can use it to treat varicose veins, indolent ulcers, bed sores, and itching rashes.
Ratan jot is the best remedy for coughs and bronchitis as well as it can treat skin lesions and diarrhea.
Every part of the plants is demulcent and expectorant.
It has traditionally been used to treat skin wounds and diseases.
Take this root by mouth to cure diarrhea and gastric ulcers.
In modern folk medicine, Alkanet herbal tea is used to cure problems like depression.
This herbal tea is also used to relieve symptoms like a persistent cough.
Moreover, it is used to promote sweating and to break down a chronic fever.
Soften and soothe irritated skin people also use this herbal tea as a powerful diuretic, as well as a sedative and “blood purifier”.
You can use it for all types of cuts, wounds, and phlebitis.
It is one of the best homeopathic remedies for ulcers in the stomach and duodenum.
This herb is used as a treatment for including jaundice, kidney stones, skin irritations; Wounds, bruises, sprains; Diarrhea, ulcers, fractures, ulcers.
Pistacia Atlantica, in combination with olive oil and laurel resin, is used to treat blood clots in the legs.
For fractures, ulcers, and rheumatism, you can use the boiled roots.
Use the rata jot with a clear butter to cure wounds; Use the root with butter to heal burns and affected wounds.
It acts as an antiseptic for skin diseases such as eczema, itching, and scabies.
It treats wounds in conjunction with Ferula assafoetida and Nigella Sativa.
The decoction, along with the butter, falls on the eyes to treat the eye related problems.
Fresh leaves are used to treat sore throat.
Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Alkanet
For Wounds: Take the root and make it as a paste. Apply it on wounds. Wait for the results.
To cure cough: Take the leaves and roots decoction of the Alkanet. Consume it twice a day for two days. You will get better results.
Cooking Benefits Alkana Root (Ratan Jot)
- Alkana root is not only given health and medicinal benefits, but it also offers some cooling benefits.
- The root is used to color alcohol tinctures, vegetable oils, and wines.
- In Indian cuisine, Ratan Jot is traditionally used to give some versions of the curry dish Rohan Josh.
- It is used as a vegetable.
- From the roots, the red dye derived which is used as a food color.
- The leaves of this herb are used in a dry form that provides a rich and musk aroma.
Health Benefits of Alkanet Root (Ratan jot)
As per the USDA National Nutrition, alkanet root has proven to cure many diseases. The best health benefits of alkanet Root are listed here; let’s take an in-depth look.
1. Treats Headache
As it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can regulate the blood circulation of your body, thus reducing the risk of headache / migraine.
Take the alkanet root and soak it into the water for a night. Drink this water in the morning to feel the change. It maintains heart function and helps to proper blood circulation. With such a healthy and flowing smooth blood flow, the headache will go away.
2. Maintains Heart Health
Generally, we know soaked alkanet root water gives strength to our body. Most of the experts follow this as herbal medicine. The technology behind this soaked alkanet root is to release and remove the toxin and harmful elements from your body. It improves the function of the heart and helps in better circulation of blood.
It is one of the good medicines, thus keeping your heart more healthy. Consuming soaked alkanet root water every day can improve your heart health.
3. Can Cures Fever
As it has a natural cooling effect, it can reduce your body heat. In Ayurveda traditional medicine, Alkana root is used to heal the fever. In addition, alkanet root stimulates perspiration, which controls the healing process of the flu.
Take some roots of the alkana plant, boil well in the clean water. Filter the water and consume it. You can eat 4-5 teaspoon of this herbal tea and take this decoction 2-3 times per day. You will feel a better change. As per the Acharya Balkrishna, Ratan jot is very effective in curing high fever and cough.
4. Helps in Weight Loss
If you need a slim and sleek body like a model, you definitely don’t have to take too much chemical diet food or medicine that does not guarantee safety. Regular intake of Alkanet Root Powder can protect your body against overweight and keep your body healthy naturally.
5. Protects from Scars
Alkanet root is one of the best herbs that can protect the skin from any infection and restore inflammation. As it has an anti-inflammatory and cooling property, it can treat burning scars. It works effectively as sunblock and sunburn remover. You can find this on some mask and face cleansers.
RatanJot Skin Glowing Mask
If you want to treat skin infections and reduce scars and blemishes, then the Ratanjot skin face pack is the right choice for you. To make this face pack, take 1 tsp of ratan jot oil and olive oil. Ideal it under the sun for up to 2 days. After that, take 1 tsp of gram flour, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, and 1 tsp of ratanjot oil. Mix them well. If you need the milk flavor, you can also add it. (It is not necessary) Make them as a paste consistency then apply directly on your face like a face mask. It is the best remedy for people who have dry skin.
6. Heals Insomnia Disorder
The oil extract from the alkanet root can reduce the risk of sleeping problems like insomnia and chronic anxiety. Ayurvedic experts advise you to apply the alkanet root oil on your head and nose before bed for better and calm sleep. Do it often, and you will feel much easier to get sleep.
7. Ratan Jot Benefits for Skin
It is amazing to protect your body’s essential organs, especially the skin, as it has anti-virus and anti-bacterial properties. As a very forward body protector, it is very unsafe for the skin to be affected by any foreign substances that can cause issues like aging or wrinkles. Using alkanet root oil or consuming alkanet root powder can help maintain aging health and beauty.
Alkanet root is also curing skin fungus. Its antifungal property can treat any skin related fungal diseases like scabies, ringworm, and eczema in your skin disorder. You can use the alkanet root paste to heal wounds, varicose veins, bedsores, itching rashes, and abscesses.
8. Alkanet Root Benefits for Hair and Nail
Alkanet root has been proven that it can efficiently work for hair health. It is very safe and does not harm your health as Alkanet is a natural hair color. Applying alkanet root oil can prevent hair loss as well as increase the growth of the hair.
Alkanet root can help prevent cracked nails and reduce swelling of the nail. Applying the Alconate root essential oil with coconut oil in your nail will prevent nail irritation, soreness, and infection.
9. Control Blood Pressure
Ratan jot includes a hypo-dens effect, which helps reduce stress on your cardiovascular system and does a very effective work in decreasing high blood pressure. It prevents plague, heart attack, and reduces the risk of developing a stroke.
10. Treatment of Herpes
Ratan jot can also be used to treat herpes, which is an immune and skin disorder. It can cause a more severe state of skin fear or skin bleeding due to open fear. Generally, herpes is caused by a virus, thus, to cure the disease, you require some antiviral effect, which can get the most out of the alkanet root.
Other Language Names of Ratanjot
Botanical name: Alkanna Tinctoria
Hindi name: Laljari
Marathi name: Ratanjot
Tamil name: Vembalam pattai
Urdu name: Baal Jad
Bengali name: Ratanjot
French name: Buglosse Azuree
German name: Natternkopf-Lotwurz
Kashniri name: Yatilung
Punjabi name: Laljari
Sanskrit name: Maharanga
Malyalam name: Thavittu vembala
Ratanjot Hair Oil Recipe
- 1 cup of unrefined coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of broken ratan jot
- Take the full ratan jot root and break it into pieces.
- Crumble them into small pieces by using your hands. It will crumble very easily.
- After that drop the coconut oil on the crumbled alkanet.
- Let it under the hot sun until the color changes into a dark red color. One day is enough for it.
- Keep it cool, strain, and use it.
Clinical Overview of Alkanet Root / Ratan Jot
Ratan jot is a source of red pigment which can be used in cosmetics. It has traditionally been used to treat skin wounds and diseases. You can take the alkanna root by mouth to treat diarrhea and gastric ulcers. Moreover, it is scientifically proven active scavenging activity, suggesting antigenic effects; However, clinical trial data are not available.
None of the latest medical data justify the human size. The dosage of the Ratan jot is based on many factors such as a person’s age, health and body conditions, etc. However, there is no reliable data to define the appropriate sizes for alkanet. You should keep in mind that all-natural herbals are not always safe, and the quantities are essential. You should follow the proper instructions on the product labels and consult your healthcare provider or doctor before using it.
No discrepancies were identified
Pregnancy / Lactation
If you are pregnant women or breastfeeders, then it is good to avoid the Alkanna tinctoria because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Alkanna root’s pyrrolizidine alkaloid components are the base molecules for the cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzymes. These isoenzyme stimulants, including rifampin, St. John’s wort, and phenobarbital, may improve pyrrolizidine alkaloids’ conversion into toxic metabolites.
Alkanna root can lead to severe liver failure, cirrhosis, pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, or heart failure. The liver metabolism of pyrrolizidine alkaloids is converted to the lungs, which may lead to lung toxicity. By consuming pyrrolizidine alkaloids, sinusoidal-obstruction syndrome can occur. It is a liver complication that is connected with bone marrow transplantation. In animals, pyrrolizidine alkaloids are carcinogenic. It is linked with hepatocellular and squamous cell carcinomas and liver angiosarcomas.
The Alkanna root may cause liver and lung toxicity due to the alkaloid components of pyrrolizidine.
You can pour the alkanate in olive oil. Based on the quantity of alkanate, its color may change from pink, red, and blue. It is only for external use, doesn’t recommended for internal use.
Take 1 tsp of Alkana root for 2 cups of oil, stir well for some days. After that, remove the root from that. Changing the oil of the alkanet root powder is based on the product being prepared. Adjust to the required size.
For soap, based on the amount of alkanet root powder, the types of oils used, and the alkalinity of the soap will give shades of pink, blue and purple colors.
Are they Secure to Consume?
As it has some harmful chemicals like hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), so there are a lot of problems while using alkanna as medicine. Hepatotoxic PAs can block the blood circulation to the veins, which may lead to liver damage. Moreover, it can cause cancer as well as congenital disabilities.
If your skin is already broken, you should avoid using this ratan jot in your skin because its adverse chemicals absorb your skin fast, which enhances the dangerous toxicity throughout the body.
Clearly identify certified and “hepatotoxic PA-free” alkanna-containing skin products. It doesn’t have enough information to know whether it is safe to use Alkanna for broken skin. It is better to avoid use.
Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy or Breast-Feeding:
It is not recommended for pregnant ladies. As it has hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), it can cause congenital disabilities and liver damage. Moreover, it doesn’t have the required data about the use of Alkana root during pregnancy.
If you are a breastfeeder, then it is good to avoid using Ratan jot. It’s Hepatotoxic PAs that change your breast milk harm to the infant. As usual, it doesn’t have enough reliable information, whether it is safe or not for breastfeeders.
As we mentioned earlier, Alkanna has hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids chemical component, thus can cause liver-related disease.