Alkanet root is primarily used as a dying and coloring agent, especially for fabrics, soap, and lip balm.
Alkanet root is primarily used as a natural dying agent, and it imparts a ruby red color to natural fibers, wool, wood, stone, lip balm, lipstick, ointments, salve, soap, lotion, and to tint oils, vinegar, tinctures, varnishes, or wine. In the past, Alkanet root was used to improve the appearance of low quality wines and ports, and to give an aged appearance to wine corks. However, Alkanet root is mainly used as a dying agent now, and is not recommended for internal use. In soap, Alkanet root will yield shades of pink, blue, and purple, depending upon the amount used, types of oil used, and the alkalinity of the soap.