Madder Root Powder

[ 1884 ]
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per 1/4 Pound
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per Pound

Madder root is harvested from the first-year taproots of a climbing vine related to the coffee plant that's better known as Common Madder or Dyer's Madder.

Madder root has been used for centuries to produce a red dye to color wool, cotton, leather and other textiles. Depending on the type of mordant used to extract and “fix” the dye, various shades can be obtained, from saffron to turkey red and madder lake.

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quick look

information at a glance

approximate cups to one pound4.5
active compoundsIndoid, Calcium, Resin, Ruberythric acid, Purpurin, Alizarin
plant part usedroot

buying & keeping

general guidelines and tips

storage tipsStore in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
appearance & aromaOrange-red powder without significant aroma.


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cosmeticUse to give color to soaps and cosmetics.
householdYields a natural dye for textiles ranging in color from orange to blue-violet-red, depending on the mordant.
industrialMadder root is used to produce a coloring agent referred to in industry as rose madder.
safetyThere is no negative safety data regarding the topical use of madder root, but internal use is not recommended as some studies indicate that its compounds may cause cancer and birth defects in animal models. Given that, it might be best to avoid handling the herb at all during pregnancy.

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[ tip: Blend powdered madder root with coconut oil in soaps and cosmetics.~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company ]

Blend with coconut oil in soaps and cosmetics.

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[ alkanet root ]

[ tip: Combine powdered madder root with powdered alkanet root for more color variance when making dyes.  ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company ]

Combine with powdered alkanet root for more color variance when making dyes.

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madder root

Not for internal use.

formulas & recipes

madder root

coming soon

what else you should know

madder root

Madder root, also known as dyer’s madder, is a perennial herb in the bedstraw family that is native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. It’s an attractive plant that produces star-shaped yellow flowers and will train itself around any support provided. The herb is also xerophytic, meaning highly drought-resistant. The roots, which may be harvested in the second year, contain the organic pigments alizarin and purpurin.

For centuries, the plant has been used to make natural dyes for cloth and wool. Evidence of the plant being used to dye garments have been found in ancient archaeological sites in India dating to the 3rd millennium BCE and in France circa 570 AD.

Madder was also widely used in England, where it remains a classic specimen of the traditional medieval-style English garden. The 17th century English botanist Nicholas Culpeper, who wrote that madder has affinity with the red planet and the blood, recommended the herb for “burstings.” It was also about this time that madder became the dye source for the scarlet-colored coatees worn by the British redcoats.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.