Herbs used for Dyeing Purposes
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Black Walnut Hulls

Black Walnut has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It has been used throughout history for treatment of intestinal problems, snakebites, open wounds, ulcers, scurvy, and as one of the most effective laxatives available. Because of its dark color, the outer hull is also used as a dye and was used in brown hair dye until the early 1900s. It is a good source of beta-carotene, acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, tannin, B-vitamins, and vitamin C.

Today, the hulls are used to help with many conditions. It is known to be a gentle and effective laxative. Black walnut is known as an effective anti-viral and is used to fix warts, which are caused by viruses. Black walnut is an anti-fungus and has been used to fight herpes, cold sores, athlete’s foot, and Candida. It has been used as an antiseptic to combat illness like sexually transmitted infections and malaria and can be used to treat acne.

Black walnut hulls contain juglone, a chemical that is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, and a fungicide. As a skin wash, black walnut hulls are used to treat ringworm and yeast infections of the skin. Taken internally, black walnut hulls are used to treat intestinal worms.

Black walnut is considered a “masculine” tree associated with the element of fire and the sun. Culpepper, in his Complete Herbal, writes,

“This is a plant of the sun. Let the fruit of it be gathered accordingly, which as the most virtual whilst green, before it shells.”
In the American Hoodoo tradition, walnut leaves and nuts are used to put jinxes on people. Walnuts are also used to “fall out of love”; Yronwode in her Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic describes a ritual where you make a tea of nine black walnuts (husk and all) boiled in three quarts of water; boiling it till the water evaporates down to 1 quart. You bathe in this water, renouncing ties to the former love, and then throw the water out at a crossroads or against the tree. This kind of bath is not one for the bathtub, but usually done in a smaller tub. Again, we see this expelling or removing quality associated with the walnut present.
1 Oz
Calendula (Marigold) - Calendula officinalis
NOTE: 1/2 Ounce Increment

Few herbs have a more sunny and cheerful disposition than the humble Marigold. Their saturated orange yellow glowing flowers look like a piece of the sun itself. No wonder one of its vernacular names is 'Maidens of the Sun'. Nor is it a surprise that Culpeper gives it to the Sun in Leo. Just looking at them confers an infectious 'joie de vivre', which Culpeper praises as their ability to 'gladden the heart'. Calendula is quite a miracle herb, but since it is so common it receives scant attention- as is often the case: familiarity breeds contempt.

Calendula is a well loved garden plant, though some people resent its tendency to spread and consider it invasive. However, as a garden plant Calendula protects other herbs and plants against fungal infections and insect attacks. It also provides cheer throughout the year - at least in mild climates, where it flowers almost all the year round until the frost kills it. However, as soon as spring arrives Calendula revives and its sunny flowers are unstoppable once again, except on rainy days when they stay closed. This is how the Romans came to call this herb 'Calendula' - in their mild climate it spread its cheer for the entire duration of the calendar year.

Traditional Marigold is one of the premiere herbs for the skin. During the First World War and in the American civil war it was used extensively and very successfully as a wound cleansing herb. In fact, given the shortage of other medicines, it often was the only thing at hand - and just as well, as many army surgeons could attest: nothing cleansed the festering wounds better than this humble herb. It is strongly astringent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Thus it can be used to wash any damaged skin, may it be minor scrapings, ulcers or nasty, indolent wounds. It is also effective in treating eczema, nappy rash and athlete's foot. It can be used as a gargle for inflamed and sore gums or as a douche in leucorrhoea. As a plaster it was used to treat inflamed nipples and hardened or inflamed breasts. It is even reputed to have anti-cancer properties, which makes it useful as a compress on lymphatic nodes or cancerous tissue, especially when simultaneously taken as a tea. Internally, it can be used to stimulate liver and gallbladder, alleviate nausea and indigestion, help in cases of stomach and duodenal ulcers (take with centaury), soothe the pain of cystitis and bladder infections and even stop bloody urine. Calendula expels worms, softens hardened lymph nodes and glands and regulates menstrual irregularities, especially at the onset of puberty and during menopause, when the hormones are in upheaval mode. The old herbalists made much use of the expressed juice, which can be prepared from fresh flowers or from re-hydrated dried flowers. Tincture and creams are commonly used for external applications.

Magical One of the vernacular names of Marigold is 'Death Flower' and in older herbals one reads that they are often planted on graves. This is probably due to their apparently immortal life force, which symbolizes the undying spirit and will give cheer to the departing souls. This immortal quality is also invoked in many a love charm intended to make love last forever so it shall never wilt.
1/2 Oz
Elderberry - Sambucus nigra (European)
The Elder-tree is one of the most common and most beloved plants of the old world countryside. The Celts knew it as 'scobiém'and revered it as Mother Elder, an earthly manifestation of the Great Goddess, who presided over both life and death. Her trees represented a gateway to the 'Otherworld' and on Midsummer nights, sensitive individuals could 'see' the little folk- if they sat under an Elder-tree. Lore: Folklore and folk medicine is full of lore about this remarkable tree. It has been called 'the apothecary of the country people', for every part of the plant was used in various ways and in a multitude of remedies. However, the berries are slightly toxic and should not be consumed raw in large amounts. An oil pressed from the seeds is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. The skin of the dark blackish-blue berries contains the pigment Sambicyanin, which has been shown to act as a free radical scavenger. In the old days the pigment was used as a coloring agent for dyeing hair, leather or wool. Today, the berries are widely used for making country wine and hedgerow jam. They have sometimes been used to adulterate port wine - with the unintended positive effect of fortifying the wine and giving it a tonic effect. Medicinal: The berries are very rich in vitamins, minerals and radical scavenging pigments thus they make an excellent immune system boosting elixir and can be used as syrup, soup, juice or alcoholic elixir. Regular doses help to fend of colds and flus and aid the recovery process. They also contain anti-inflammatory agents, which can reduce the painful swellings that characterize rheumatic and arthritic joints. Magical Wine made of Elderberries is an appropriate ritual offering for ceremonies that honor those who have gone before us and to attune to the transformational powers of the Great Goddess, who presides over life and death. The berries can also be used for making magical ink, and as a dye for the altar cloth and rope.
1 Oz
Henna - Lawsonia inermis

The green powder, commonly known as 'Henna' and used as a natural dye for hair derives from the leaves of a small tree or large bush that belongs to the Myrtle family. It is at home in the dry regions of northern Africa and India, where it is widely cultivated, mostly for cosmetic use. The red color results by means of a fermentation process that is activated when the powdered leaves are mixed with water and left in a hot, moist environment. The different shades of color are derived by admixture of other substances, such as tea or other dye plants. Natural Henna never dyes black. All black Henna products, as well as most commercially available Henna powders contain chemical additives to ensure an even pigmentation. In recent years Henna tattoos, a traditional body decoration usually applied ceremonially at major rites of passage, such as birth, marriage, circumcision and funerary rites, have become popular in the West. However, so called black Henna has been indicated to produce very intense allergic reactions that are due to the chemical additives mixed in to produce the artificial black dye. Red Henna, which has been traditionally used for this purpose does not result in allergic reactions, on the contrary it has some beneficial effects on the skin.

In India, Pakistan and Northern Africa Henna is not only used cosmetically but also for medicinal purposes. The white flowers produce a delightful fragrance and have been distilled to produce an essential oil and flower water which are used in perfumery. It is often planted as a hedge plant since its spiny thorns deter animals and intruders.

To dye hair red with natural Henna, mix the powder with hot water until it has the consistency of creamy spinach. Apply thoroughly to the hair, taking care not to rub it into the skin below the hairline, as it will dye the skin as well. Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands as well. Natural red Henna is beneficial for the hair, adding luster and volume. The color wears off over a period of time.

Henna has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which have been used medicinally to treat athlete's foot and other skin diseases, boils, burns, bruises and inflammatory conditions of the skin as well as chickenpox, small pox and leprosy. The medicinal use of Henna is widespread in Ayurveda, Unani and traditional folk medicine of India, Pakistan and Northern Africa, where seeds and roots as well as the leaves are used internally for various conditions, from diarrhea, to enlarged spleen or as a contraceptive.

The red dye of Henna traditionally represents the color of life and is thus associated with all rites of passage: birth, circumcision, marriage and death. It is considered protective against evil influences, malevolent spirits and the evil eye. Henna has also traditionally been associated with love and sexuality, its fragrant flowers adding a seductive perfume to its protective shade.

Red Henna (True Henna) - 1 Oz
Indigo (True Indigo) - Indigofera Tinctora
Indigo has been used as a dye for millennia as have woad (Isatis tincotria) and madder, (Rubia tinctoria). Indigo is native to Asia and was the blue dye used there, while woad was used in Europe. In India indigo has been used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicine systems to cure a number of ailments, despite the fact that the whole plant contains indican, which is a carcinogenic glucoside. The plant also contains rotenoids which are effective insecticides against mosquito larvae.
Because of its use in traditional medicine there have been studies to attempt to support these uses. Indigotin, the substance responsible for the blue of the dye is thought to have antiseptic and astringent properties, and there are studies currently underway on indirubin, also found in woad, to discover if it has anti-cancer properties. Early studies have shown that the alcohol extracts of indigo’s stems and leaves protect the liver from damage by chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, found in cleaning agents, refrigerants and aerosols and the leaves can help to lower blood pressure. One study reported in the International Journal of Pharmacology vol 7 (3) pages 356-63 2011 by Renukadevi, K.P. and Suhani Sultana, S. suggests that the plant’s extracts from the leaves have potent antioxidant actions and antibacterial and anti-cancer ones. However the studies were carried out on animals and in vitro, no tests have been done on human subjects in any of the research quoted here.
In the same study the leaves were analyzed and found to contain flavonoids, saponins, tannins, steroidal terpenes, phenols and anthroquinone, and were found to be effective against lung cancer cells in vitro. The report concludes with this sentence “This study suggests that ethanol extract (sic) of Indigofera tinctoria have profound antibacterial, antioxidant and cytotoxic effect. (sic)”
In another study, “Anti-hyperglycaemic activity of ethanol extract and chloroform extract of Indigofera tinctoria leaves in streptozotocin induced diabetic mice (Family Papilionaceae)” published in the Research Journal of Pharmaceutical. Biological and Chemical Sciences Jan-March 2011, Bangar, A.V. and Saralaya M.G. conclude “…from the present study that Indigofera tinctoria leaves alcoholic extract long-term treatment may be beneficial in the management of type-1, type-2 diabetes.” Yet another study looked at the traditional use of the plant in treating epilepsy and in the Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, it is concluded that extracts from the whole plant were “useful in controlling lithium/pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in albino rats.”
Indigofera tinctoria means dyer’s indigo-bearing plant (tinctoria means dyer and indigofera means indigo bearing). There are many plants in the genus; it is thought that there are around 700, which is of the Fabaceae family, making indigo a relative of the pea. Marco Polo wrote about the indigo dying industry in the 13th century on his travels around what is now Quilon in the Indian state of Kerala in 1298. However we know that indigo was used as a dye by the people of the Indus Valley Civilization between the 4th and 2nd millennia BC. In the Industrial Revolution the dye was used for European military uniforms and of course has been used in the US to dye blue jeans their distinctive color. However imported indigo was banned in many countries in Europe in the 17th century so that it did not compete with woad, as dyers and cultivators of this native European plant protested against the importing of indigo. Later indigo and woad were used together to strengthen the color of the dye.
In India indigo has been used to color paper used for writing letters as well as for ink and oil-based paints for artists. A Persian rug dating back to the 5th century BC has been found to have indigo-dyed fibers and at Thebes Egyptian mummies were found to have indigo-dyed cloth with them. The Greek historian Herodotus (who wrote rather fancifully of the collection of cinnamon bark, claiming it was from the nest of the fabled bird, the phoenix), writing circa 450 BC described the use of indigo in the Mediterranean region at that time, and we know that ancient Greeks and Romans used indigo imported from India in “cakes”. The ancient Egyptians and Romans applied it to wounds and ulcerous sores.
In traditional Chinese medicine indigo has been used as a pain reliever, for fever, inflammation and to purify the liver and blood. In Indian traditional medicine it has been used to promote hair growth and is used as a hair dye for black hair, just as henna is used for red hair. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to treat depression, for cancer, bronchitis and other respiratory problems such as asthma, hemorrhaging, as well as problems with the spleen, lungs and kidneys. Some research suggests that it has liver protective properties. In other traditional medicine systems in the Indian subcontinent it has also been used for cardio-vascular problems, urinary tract problems and the paste made with the leaves is applied to sores, ulcers and piles and a decoction of the leaves was applied to the stings and bites of venomous creatures as well as to relieve pain and aid fast healing of burns and scalds. At one time in India it was used to cure bites from rabid dogs and the resulting hydrophobia.
1 Oz
Maddar Root
Rubia tinctoria is an herbaceous, perennial, climbing vine in the bedstraw family with roots that can extend to three feet in length. For thousands of years, madder root has been utilized as a textile dye, imparting orange and red tones to a range of fibers. Fabrics dyed with madder root have been discovered in archeological sites dating back to ancient India and Egypt. Considered an heirloom dye plant, madder is a wonderful choice in natural dye options.

With the help of a mordant (usually alum), madder is suitable to dye both plant and animal-based textiles. The alizarin and purpurin constituents in madder root create rich colors ranging from orange to bright red. A decline in the use of madder as a dye occurred in the discovery of the insect-based dyes cochineal and lac; with the increasing interest in natural plant-based dyes madder root is once again gaining popularity.

** NOTE: Not for internal use!
1 Oz
Mimosa Bark - Mimosa hostilis

Native Use:
The Aztecs already knew of the Mimosa tree during pre-Columbian times. The name Tepeszohuite, which is now common in Mexico is derived from the Aztec tepus-cuahuitl “metal tree,” a reference to the tree’s extremely hard wood. Until recently it was thought that the Jurema cult had died out, but it is now experiencing a great renaissance.

For many centuries, the Aztecs and other indigenous groups used the Mimosa hostilis/tenuiflora root bark to treat skin burns and wounds. They also used it to make tea.
Mimosa hostilis/tenuiflora also is an excellent body paint or natural coloring agent for textiles.
This tree has played a major role in the traditions of different indigenous tribes in both South, Central and North America.

Medicinal aspects:
This species came to the attention of scientists just over 150 years ago, although it was hardly studied until the 1980s. Now much is known about this tree.
Currently, Tepezcohuite / Jurema is used throughout the world as the subject of medical, pharmacological, preclinical and clinical research on its various healing effects, antibiotic and regenerative effects on epithelial cells and for the elaboration of different medicinal products and standardized extracts. It has been combined within sophisticated formulas to produce cosmetic and entheogenic products
. In recent years, Mimosa hostilis has been popularly used as an important element for the preparation of modern analogs of Aya brews.

Common names: Jurema, Tepezcohuite, Jurema Preta, Calumbi, Yurema, Ajucá, Cabrero, Jurema negro, Tapescahuite, Vinha da jurema, Espineiro, Tepescohuite, Veuêka, Carbon.
1 Oz
Out of Stock
Woad Seed

An important dye plant, yielding a blue dye which was used by the ancient Celts as a body-paint. Native to the Caucasus Mountains, west and central Asia; this is one of the oldest dye plants known. Seeds have been found in Neolithic sites and ancient Egyptians used it to dye mummy wrappings.

Economically important in Europe in the Middle Ages, the Woad industry was decimated by the introduction of Indigo from India in the late 1500s. There was even a French edict that forbade using Indigo under pain of death. Seedpods are attractive in dried arrangements. Showy yellow flowers in early spring (2nd Year)
1 Gram bag / ~ 120 seeds / Viable
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