Alkanet — known as Alkanna Tinctoria, Common Bugloss, and Orchanet — is a leafy and flowery herb in the Boraginaceae family that has a myriad of benefits and uses. It’s USDA hardiness in zones 4-8, and it can be found growing in various soil types.
Depending on the way Alkanett is processed and sourced, its coloring (dye) properties may be promising to CPGs as a replacement to some modern and harmful inks or dyes.
So let’s dive into some of the benefits of Alkanet.
What is Alkanet for?
Alkanet goes way back to times of antiquity. It’s been a tool and aid to many peoples and cultures for generations.
It’s noted that even Hippocrates (400 B.C.E) prescribed Alkanet for ailments like ulcers . The herb has a long history in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and parts of Asia — where it is native.
It’s been cultivated for centuries by European farmers (central and southern) and imported mostly as a dye and coloring agent.
Today, we see Alkanet dye in quite a few products:
- lip balm
- food coloring
- fabrics and yarn
Herbs like Alkanet hold an interesting place in the CPG realm. It’s an herb with many uses in the supplement category — but few in the CPG utility category. Because it is seen as a “weed” in many parts of the United States, research into its use could bolster sustainability efforts.