Impatiens tinctoria

John Grimshaw
Tue, 19 Aug 2008 01:34:41 PDT
To answer Jim McKenney's question "Can someone tell us why it was named
> tinctoria? Is it a source of a dye?" I turned to the 'Flora of Ethiopia 
> and Eritrea'. This remarkable work says:

'Women cook and pound the tubers into a paste which has a strong red dye in 
it. The paste is applied to the palms of the hands and to the feet where it 
turns the skin and nails black and shiny. This treatment helps control 
fungal infections as well as toughen the skin. It is considered a beauty 
treatment similar to that of henna.'

I think that the prospect of black finger nails does not warrant 
experimenting with my plants.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

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