Natural Dye Health Benefits and Ayurvedic Qualities

Posted by Ariel Katz on

As natural dye steward, Noon Tran, says in our recent interview with her: "The colors achieved from the dyes we're using represent one of the greatest gifts directly from the earth. It's a truly life-affirming practice where using one of the most altruistic gifts from nature ultimately protects and supports our health and wellness."

Read on to better understand some of the many healing properties from the flowers, barks, roots and dyewoods used in our new 100% Natural Dye collection!

Indigo (aka Indigofera tinctoria L.)

Indigo

Health benefits:

~Glowing skin
~Treatment for sores, ringworm blisters
~Hair rejuvenation
~Remove worms in teeth and gums
~Antibacterial and insect-repellent properties heals sores on skin
~Liver health
~Treat urinary problems and poison
~Treat mouth ulcers
~Kidney disease
~Prevent hair loss
~Treat earwigs and insects in ear
~Heal dog bites
~Prevent dandruff and other scalp infections
~Promote hair growth

An anti-inflammatory botanical from a beauty bible spanning over two centuries in Japan. Samurai wore garments dyed with Japanese Indigo, and in addition to fending off mosquitos and snakes, the plant was used to heal their wounds and injuries sustained during their travels. In Japanese, the rich blue shade is referred to “ai-iro,” which translates to “indigo color” or “color of love.” It has long been a point of interest for color theorists, claiming indigo symbolizes wisdom, personal thought and profound insights. Firefighters also reaped the advantages from the plant, with their traditional uniforms being made of indigo-dyed cotton to protect against burns. Once a year, there's a ceremonial festival when they still wear these traditional outfits.

Osage Orange

Osage Orange

Health benefits:

~Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
~The Comanche tribe made tea from the wood which they used as a wash for sore eyes
~It's antioxidant properties are highly beneficial for maintaining skin health
~Soften and hydrate skin, lashes and eyebrows
~When mixed with water, Pomifera Oil has the ability to soak even deeper into your tissues to rejuvenate and help maintain the collagen in your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time
~The oil can be used to heal sunburn and provide sun protection for your hair

The healing effects of this incredible plant’s oil is immediate and truly impressive! The fruit's oil penetrates and repairs damaged and aged skin cells, and helps heal many common skin issues, including rosacea. Osage orange heartwood and root are known to yield a non-toxic antibiotic useful as a culinary preservative. The wood waste or sawdust is used from artisans making instruments, bowls, and art objects is used for dyeing. 

Catechu

Catechu

Health benefits:

~Catechu leaves, bark, and roots are used medicinally
~Treat stomach issues
~Help against swelling of the nose, throat, and colitis of colon
~Aid dysentery and bleeding
~Remedy indigestion
~Relief from osteoarthritis

Catechu can treat a range of maladies, but is most commonly used as a remedy for stomach problems such as diarrhea, colitis and indigestion. It's also used orally to treat osteoarthritis and topically to remedy pain, bleeding, and swelling or inflammation.

Logwood

Logwood

Health benefits:

~A mild astringent that may relieve excessive blood loss
~Useful in the weakness of the bowels following cholera infantum
~Used in chronic stomach problems and dysentery
~Taken for hemorrhages from uterus, lungs or bowels
~Provide relief for irregular cycles or spells of amenorrhea
~Aid in quick healing and recovery after childbirth
~Increase hemoglobin levels

If you're in search of a natural remedy for stomach issues then the logwood bark offers an excellent, aromatic solution in the form of a tea. The decoctions from its bark are rich in tannins that help relieve indigestion, and it's suitable whether or not one is experiencing fever. Note: it does impart a blood-red color to urine and stools. Logwood decoctions are also beneficial in treatment of intestinal parasites. An infusion from the aromatic flowers provides a very sweet and pleasant solution to help treat airway diseases and congestion, like the stuffy nose that follows colds and flus. Additionally, the hematoxylin present in this plant aids in preventing hemorrhage relating to anemia with cases of cuts and deep injuries. 

Haritaki powder

Haritaki powder

 

Health benefits:

~Potent Chakushya properties treat dry or watery eyes, stye infections and conjunctivitis
~Improve and promote overall skin health
~Effectively scavenge free radicals from the body and diminish oxidative damage
~A natural toner, flushing out toxins from the internal layers of the skin
~Treat various skin infections like acne, rashes, boils 

The abundance of powerful antioxidants and nutrients like Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and copper make haritaki are a key player in treating various skin and hair issues. Make a solution by boiling dried haritaki fruit into a tea, allow it to cook and use it as an eyewash or cleanser to get rid of infections.

Alum (native alum/potash alum)

Alum

Health benefits:

~Treat an eye abscess
~Excellent antiseptic properties, kills dental bacteria and strengthens gums
~Treat dental problems like tooth decay, toothache, sore gums, cavities
~Relieve muscle cramps
~Used for cracked heels
~Beneficial for bleeding cuts
~As a topical remedy, effective in treating acne and scarring by removing dead tissue and excessive oil on the skin
~Used on bruises or scratches

A naturally occurring mineral or nontoxic salt, traditionally used to purify drinking water, it occurs in small deposits in nature particularly in desert and volcanic areas close to fumaroles, as well as mountains. Alum can be used as a clarifying agent in water treatment by flocculation method, which is a process where colloidal particles separate and sediment flakes form; once the sediment is disposed, the water is brought to boiling point killing bacteria. As a mouthwash or mouth freshener, simply take one glass of water, add 1g of alum with a pinch of rock salt, and gargle the solution. Alum is also used to retain crispiness in bakery products, and is frequently used in baking.

Madder (aka Rubia tinctorium L.)

Madder

Used to treat:

~Kidney stones
~Menstrual pain
~Urinary problems
~Blood disorders
~Bruises
~Jaundice
~Paralysis
~Spleen disorders
~Pain along the sciatic nerve (sciatica)
~Promotes wound healing

Madder is aperient, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic and emmenagogue. The roots are harvested in the autumn from plants at least three years old. Perhaps best known for its application in powder or extract form to treat kidney and bladder disorders, with clinical studies showing positive results on the herb’s ability to reduce the size of kidney and bladder stones. It's also been reputed as effective in the treatment of amenorrhea, dropsy and jaundice. (Hippocrates used the herb as an expectorant remedy and against various gynecological diseases. Pliny (23-79 AD) used madder as a cure for jaundice.)

Herbal tea of the leaves and stems have been used to treat constipation. Herbalists would boil the root in wine and add sugar or honey for taste. Tinctures can be made from the fresh roots and used to aid delayed or missed menstrual periods, disorders or swelling of the spleen and various other ailments. Leaves as well as the stem of madder are useful in treating delayed menstruation, applied to skin blemishes to heal them, and used as to help remedy anemia.  

Oak galls

Oak Galls


Health benefits:

~Relief from indigestion
~A styptic substance that will treat stomach bleeding between menstrual cycles
~Alleviate bloody phlegms
~Aid tissue edema
~Decrease albuminuria caused by renal or kidney deficiencies
~Cure mouth ulcers
~A natural remedy for babies when used as a paste and administered orally

A mouthwash made with oak gall will treat ulcers in the mouth very effectively. To make: powder the manjakani in a mortar and pestle, then take around 1 tsp of the powdered manjakani and boil it along with a little water.