- Medicinal Plants
- 20-25+ Woad Dye Plant seeds, Istatis tinctoria, 1/4 g.
20-25+ Woad Dye Plant seeds, Istatis tinctoria, 1/4 g.
This biennial plant, native to the steppe and desert areas of the Caucasus Mountains of Eastern Europe, has had a relationship with humans since ancient Neolithic times. Its Latin names tell its historic story: Isatis refers to its healing qualities in treating wounds; tinctoria alludes to its ancient use as a dye plant.
It was commonly used for blue dye in Europe until the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was largely replaced by Indigo from Asia. Like Indigo, woad leaves require a bit of experience and technique to yield its strong blue color. A color fastener is often needed as well.
Also is used as a human food plant. In addition to treating wounds, it is used in traditional herbal medicine as an antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and also as an anti-cancer herb.
Listed as invasive by a dozen or so states in the US west and southwest. It will re-seed itself and keep on prospering if not contained.