Ratanjot (Hindi name) was used to add natural deep red color in North Indian dishes for years. Sadly, it is replaced by synthetic red colors now. We call it “Vembalampattai” in Tamil. It is called “Alkanet” in English. The roots of Alkanets are used as a natural red dye and it is grown widely in Europe for it. The alkanet root is also used in the treatment of various diseases like wounds, bites, pain relief, fevers and stings. It is easily available every where. We make a wonderful hair oil with ratanjot/alkanet root. This hair oil is very good in conditioning the hair and helps to prevent premature greying (ila narai in Tamil), if used regularly. I always try to find the scientific and English names of the ingredients before posting, so the readers will find it easy to find the ingredients. I was breaking my head, to find the Hindi and English names of vembalampattai for almost a month. I even thought of skipping this post, but this oil is too good to be skipped. Finally, I found the names last week and here I am with the post. This oil should be only be made, during the hot summer months. To make this oil, powder the dried alkanet root into small pieces. Just crush them with your fingers, alkanet root crumbles very easily. Don’t crush it very fine, else you will find it hard to strain the oil. Pour coconut oil on top of the crumbled alkanet root and keep it under the hot sun. The color of the oil will change to red. Once the color changes to deep red, strain the oil and store it in glass bottles. This oil should be used regularly for best results. People who are suffering from premature greying will greatly benefit from this oil.
1. This is ratanjot/alkanet root and it is dark reddish in color. The alkanet root you see in the main picture on top was taken after the alkanet root was broken into pieces.
2. Crumble the dried alkanet root into small pieces using your hands. This crumbles very easily.
3. Pour coconut oil on top of the crumbled alkanet.
4. Keep it under the hot sun, till the color of the oil changes to dark red color. One day in the hot sun is enough. Let it cool, strain and use.
- Try to make this oil, only during the hot summer months.
- Apply this oil regularly, for best results.
- Try to use virgin coconut oil, to make this oil.
- Keep it in the sun, till the color changes to dark beet red.