Ratan Jot or Alkanna tinctoria, also commonly known as alkanet, is a plant that belongs to the Borage family. Ideally, this plant's roots produce a red coloring material which is used as a red dye. It is also used in many households to give food its trademark red color. Many times people substitute the use of alkanet dye with that of tomato for cooked dishes, but the outcome in terms of taste and look do not match . Nevertheless, apart from its culinary aspects, Ratan Jot has been found to be beneficial in maintaining one's overall wellness. Its use as a healthy herb dates back to centuries. The alkanet plant, especially its root, is said to provide ample number of health benefits and treatment for common ailments. Read on to know more about the attributes of this herb along with its traditional and generalized, modern day health benefits and the caution that one needs to follow when using Ratan Jot.
Traditional Uses Of Ratan Jot
Ratan Jot possesses anti-inflammatory effect. This helps in proper blood circulation and reduces the feeling of headache. Alkanet root is also widely used to treat migraine.2. Cures fever
Alkanet possesses tremendous cooling effect, thus making it one of the best herbs that can be used to treat fever. It can induce sweating and hence has the ability to bring down the body's temperature.3. Recovery from scars
Ratan Jot is famous for its skin clearing abilities and hence it is also used in several face masks, facial cleansing products, etc. Alkanet root can protect the skin from various sorts of infections. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, alkanet is widely used to treat and heal burn scars. This feature makes alkanet a powerful sun-blocking and sunburn removing herb.4. Treats sleeping disorders
Essential oil obtained from alkanet root is widely used to reduce the symptoms associated with sleeping disorders. People with chronic insomnia are suggested the use of this essential oil. Ayurvedic experts advice the use of this oil on the head and around the nose to attain relaxation and a feeling of calmness, which would in turn facilitate sleeping.5. Maintains cardiac health
Many people soak alkanet root in water overnight and then drink it in the morning. This is a very powerful aspect followed by experts of herbal medicine. The ideology behind this is the power of the soaked alkanet root, which is capable of releasing and getting rid of the body's toxins and poisonous elements. This optimizes the functionality of the heart and helps with better circulation of blood.6. Ensures good skin health
Ratan Jot is believed to be extremely good for the skin, especially due to its anti-viral and anti-bacterial features. Many people prepare masks out of the alkanet root and apply it on the skin to keep away signs of aging such as wrinkles and pigmentation. Application of the alkanet root oil also does wonders to the skin. Not just application, but consumption of alkanet root powder also helps one attain good skin health.7. Good for the health of nail and hair
Alkanet can provide a natural color to your hair and is also known to strengthen the hair from its roots. Oil extracted from the alkanet roots have been traditionally used by many to prevent hair fall, to cover hair cuticles and to deal with symptoms of baldness.
One can also ensure good nail health with the use of Ratan Jot. Using the essential oil obtained from this can help you deal with issues of cracked nails. It also reduces any form of inflammation around the nail. One should ideally make it a habit to indulge in a routine nail care with the use of essential oil obtained from alkanet roots. Regular application of this oil on and around the nail prevents soreness and infections of any kind.8. Treats hypertension
Ratan Jot possesses the ability to reduce the stress of the cardiovascular system and hence is effective for high blood pressure patients. Regular intake of this herb can help treat issues that could result in a stroke or heart attack.9. Helpful for dysmenorrhea
The anti-inflammatory feature of alkanet root is very effective in curing the soreness of the tummy during menstruation, which we otherwise would understand as period cramps (pain of the pelvis or lower abdomen)10. Treats rheumatic disease
Rheumatism is associated with inflammation and pain in the muscles, joints, etc. The most common one is rheumatoid arthritis. Regular application of the essential oil of alkanet has shown to provide relief to the pain and soreness. Consuming Ratan Jot powder also seems to be helpful in treating rheumatic diseases.11. Heals fungal infections
Alkanet root works as a miraculous herb in treating skin fungal infections. Herbal experts suggest the external application of Ratan Jot for issues such as ringworm, eczema, etc. Alkanet root can cure herpes as well. The anti-viral effects of Ratan Jot is highly effective in curing herpes that causes sores especially around the mouth or the genitals.
Culinary Uses Of Ratan Jot
The colored dye obtained from the roots of alkanet can be used to give the coloring effect to wines and alcoholic tinctures. Not just this, the color is used for vegetable oils and varnishes as well. One of the famous Indian curry dishes - 'Rogan Josh'- gets its red color from the dye obtained from Ratan Jot.
Apart from that, many households use Alkanet as a vegetable as well. Dried forms of alkanet leaves are used in potpourris, hence giving it the rich and musky fragrance.General Facts About Alkanet