|What is it?||Alkanet root is used as a dye, typically through infusion. It is usually sold in powdered/ground or chopped form. The colour varies with pH; it is a ruby colour around pH 6, purple around pH 9, and blue around pH 10.|
|INCI||Alkanna Tinctona Root|
|Appearance||Dark, slightly purple powder or small flakey chunks.|
|Usage rate||Infuse in oil until desired colour is reached.|
|Solubility||The colour infuses well in oil; solid matter is typically strained out before the coloured oil is used.|
|Why do we use it in recipes?||As a colourant. In cold processed soap it lends a dusty purple hue. Infused in oils for balms and butters it gives a ruby-plum colour.|
|Do you need it?||No|
|Strengths||Stable in soap, beautiful botanical colourant.|
|Weaknesses||Not particularly potent, so not very useful for coloured cosmetics.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||A coloured mica that is approximately the desired colour is a good alternative, though it will add shimmer. You can also look at pigments like ultramarines, which are available in purples and blues.|
|How to Work with It||Infuse alkanet root in oil until the desired colour is reached, strain, and then use the oil. I’d start with a 1:10 to 1:20 (by weight) infusion ratio.
If you’re using the powder you can add it straight to soap batter, where it will add a bit of a dark speckle-y look and some mild exfoliation, depending on the amount used.
|Storage & Shelf Life||Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, alkanet root should last three years.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||Alkanet root shifts colour with pH, from ruby to blue as it gets more basic.|
|Recommended starter amount||30g (1oz)|
|Where to Buy it||Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier—shops focussed on soap supplies are more likely to carry it.|