Ratanjot Benefits, Remedies, Varieties, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Ratanjot is extensively used in the Ayurvedic treatment of pain, inflammation, eczema, wounds etc.

Arnebia nobilis is commonly known as Ratanjot in India. Roots of various Boraginaceous plant species are considered as Ratanjot. Its roots have good medicinal properties and widely used to impart colour to food, oil, fats and cosmetic preparations. It is used to treat worm infestation, eye diseases, bronchitis, abdominal pain, itch etc. The deep red color dye is obtained from its root due to high amount of alkannin and shikonnin type of compounds.
Read – Sinduri (Bixa orellana) – Uses, Remedies, Dose, Research, Side Effects


Botanical Name – Arnebia nobilis
Family – Boraginaceae

Vernacular Names

English Name – Dyer’s Alkanet, Alkanet, Dyers’ or Spanish Bugloss, Orchanet, Languedoc bugloss
Hindi Name – Ratanjot
Marathi Name – Ratan jot
Urdu Name – Ratan jot

Pharmacological Activities

Ratanjot possess Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiseptic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antitumor and wound healing properties.
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  • Alkanna root essence oil applied externally is used to relieve inflammation. It reduces swelling and pain. It is also effective in bone and muscle inflammation.
  • Alkanna root extract can be used to heal burn scars. It protects the skin from microbial infection and reduces inflammation. Alkanna root is the best natural anti-inflammatory and cooling agent.
  • Alkanna roots are used to relieve fever due to its natural cooling and sweat inducing properties.
  • Hair health – Alkanna root oil effectively prevent hair fall and increase hair strength.
  • In Rheumatic diseases, essential oil of Alkanna roots applied externally helps to reduce pain and swelling.
  • To improve health of heart, Alkanna root is soaked in water and its extract can be consumed.
  • Skin diseases – Alkanna roots can be used in fungal infections such as ringworm, phlegm and eczema due to its anti-fungal property. It is also used in Herpes treatment due to its anti-viral activity.
  • Antiaging and Anti-wrinkle – Applying Alkanet root oil externally and consuming its root powder help in reducing aging and skin wrinkle.
  • Anti-cancer – Alkanna tinctoria root bark Have the capacity to inhibit the proliferation of human colon cancer cells. (Read more here)
  • Boiled roots of Alkanna are used to treat fractures and abscess.
  • In wounds, Alkanna along with kalonji and hingu is used.
  • In Eye diseases, it is made decoction, mixed with clarified butter and used as eye drops.
  • Externally it is used to treat varicose veins, indolent ulcers, bed sores and itching rashes.
  • In Sore throat, fresh alkanna leaves are used. (Read)

Effect on Doshas
Balances pitta dosha

Part Used

Roots, Leaves

Botanical Description

Arnebia nobilis roots are fusiform, externally furrowed, twisted, purple brown in color and have a pungent odour. Bark readily exfoliate in the form of dried papery layers that are reddish purple in color.


Arnebia nobilis is cultivated in Central and southern Europe. Though abundantly available in India, is not native to this country but imported from Afghanistan.
Read – Neelini – Indigofera tinctoria Uses, Research, Side Effects


There are at least 15 plant species of 4 different families which have been considered as Ratanjot. (Read more)

Following species in Boraginacea are likely to be used as source of Ratanjot.
Alkanna tinctoria L.
Arnebia benthamii (Wall. ex G.Don) I.M.Johnst.
Arnebia euchroma (Royle) I.M.Johnst.
Arnebia hispidissima (Sieber ex Lehm.) A.DC.
Maharanga emodi (Wall.) DC
Onosma hookeri C.B.Clarke (Read more)

Chemical Constituents

Arnebia nobilis contains alkannin β, β-dimethylacrylate [5,8-dihydroxy-2- (1′-β,β-dimethylacryloxy-4′-methy lpent-3′-enyl)-1, 4-naphthoquinone], Alkannin acetate [2-(1′-acetoxy -4′-methylpent-3′-enyl)-5,8- dihydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone], shikonin [(5,8-dihydroxy-4′-methylpent-3′-enyl) -1,4-naphthoquinone].


Wound healing Activity – A research study was done to evaluate wound healing activity of Onosma hispidum (Ratanjot) in normal and diabetic rats have proved that Ointment prepared from 10% methanolic extract of Ratanjot root exhibited significant wound healing activity which is better than current herbal drugs used in treatment of wound-healing.


Lal Taila – It is the Ayurvedic baby massage oil
Himsangam Ayurvedic oil – It is the Ayurvedic oil used in hair fall, grey hairs and alos relives headache.
Patanjali Sheetal oil – Used to treat sleeplessness, headache, body ache etc
Urostone tablet – Used to treat Burning micturition
Patanjali divya kesh taila – Used in hair fall, baldness, grey hair and headache

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae
Clade – Tracheophytes
Clade – Angiosperms
Clade – Eudicots
Clade – Asterids
Order – Boraginales
Family – Boraginaceae
Genus – Alkanna
Species – A. tinctoria
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