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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - they require long soaking in order to remove a bitterness, and even then they are still bitter[1][2]. There is no record of the seeds being edible, but they contain 12 - 34% protein and 12 - 38% fat on a zero moisture basis[3].

Leaves

Material uses

Woad is historically famous as a dye plant, having been used as a body paint by the ancient Britons prior to the invasion of the Romans[4]. A blue dye is obtained from the leaves by a complex process that involves fermenting the leaves and produces a foul stench[5][6][7][8][9][4]. The dye is rarely used nowadays, having been replaced first by the tropical Indigofera tinctoria and more recently by synthetic substitutes[4]. Nevertheless, it is a very good quality dye that still finds some use amongst artists etc who want to work with natural dyes. A very good quality green is obtained by mixing it with Dyer's greenwood (Genista tinctoria)[4]. Woad is also used to improve the colour and quality of indigo, as well as to form a base for black dyes[10]. The leaves are harvested when fully grown and 3 - 4 harvests can be made in total[10]. Recent research in Germany has shown that (the dyestuff in?) this plant is a very good preservative for wood[Radio 4 Farming programme].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Woad has rather a mixed press for its medicinal virtues. One author says it is so astringent that it is not fit to be used internally - it is only used externally as a plaster applied to the region of the spleen and as an ointment for ulcers, inflammation and to staunch bleeding[11]. However, it is widely used internally in Chinese herbal medicine where high doses are often employed in order to maintain high levels of active ingredients[4].

The leaves are antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, astringent and febrifuge[12][13][3][4]. It controls a wide range of pathogenic organisms, including viruses[3][4]. It is used internally in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, including meningitis, encephalitis, mumps, influenza, erysipelas, heat rash etc[4]. The leaves are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried[4]. They are also macerated and the blue pigment extracted. This is also used medicinally, particularly in the treatment of high fevers and convulsions in children, coughing of blood and as a detoxifier in infections such as mumps[4]. The root is antibacterial and anticancer[13]. It is used in the treatment of fevers, pyogenic inflammation in influenza and meningitis, macula in acute infectious diseases, erysipelas, mumps and epidemic parotitis[13]. Its antibacterial action is effective against Bacillus subtilis, haemolytic streptococcus,, C. diphtheriae, E. coli, Bacillus typhi, B. paratyphi, Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri and Salmonella enteritidis[13]. Both the leaves and the roots are used in the treatment of pneumonia[3].

The root and the whole plant have anticancer properties whilst extracts of the plant have shown bactericidal properties[3].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. Fresh seed can also be sown in situ in late summer, it will take 20 months to flower but will produce more leaves[14].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Isatis tinctoria. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[6], though it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[15]. Prefers neutral to alkaline conditions[4]. Plants deplete the soil of nutrients and cannot be grown successfully on the same site for more than two years[11].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c[16]. Woad is a biennial, or occasionally a short-lived perennial plant. It has a very long history as a dye plant, being used by the ancient Britons to give a blue colouring to the skin. At one time woad was widely cultivated for this blue dye obtained from its leaves but with the advent of chemical dyes it has fallen into virtual disuse[11]. It is currently (1993) being grown commercially on a small scale in Germany as a wood preservative (An item on BBC's Radio 4 Farming Programme).

Plants self-sow freely when they are grown in a suitable position[6], though they tend not to thrive if grown in the same position for more than two years[4].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Isatis tinctoria. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Isatis tinctoria.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Isatis tinctoria
Genus
Isatis
Family
Brassicaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Isatis tinctoria02.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Isatis tinctoria02.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Isatis tinctoria02.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Isatis tinctoria02.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.53.6 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    4. ? 4.004.014.024.034.044.054.064.074.084.094.104.114.124.13 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Mabey. R. Plants with a Purpose. Fontana ISBN 0-00-635555-2 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    9. ? 9.09.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Niebuhr. A. D. Herbs of Greece. Herb Society of America. (1970-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    14. ? Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    15. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    17. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

    "image:Isatis tinctoria02.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Isatis tinctoria"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyBrassicaceae +
    Belongs to genusIsatis +
    Has binomial nameIsatis tinctoria +
    Has common nameWoad +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeInsects +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone7 +
    Has imageIsatis tinctoria02.JPG +
    Has lifecycle typeBiennial + and Perennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye + and Preservative +
    Has mature height1 +
    Has mature width0.45 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntibacterial +, Antiviral +, Astringent + and Cancer +
    Has primary imageIsatis tinctoria02.JPG +
    Has search nameisatis tinctoria + and woad +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameIsatis tinctoria +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Isatis tinctoria +, Isatis tinctoria +, Isatis tinctoria +, Isatis tinctoria +, Isatis tinctoria +, Isatis tinctoria + and Isatis tinctoria +