Herb latin name: Arnebia euchroma

Synonyms: Macrotomia euchroma

Family: Boraginaceae (Borage Family)

Medicinal use of Arnebia euchroma:

The root is antipyretic, cancer, contraceptive, emollient and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of measles, mild constipation, burns, frostbite, eczema, dermatitis etc. Experimentally it has shown contraceptive action on rats, inhibiting oestrus, the fertility rate and the release of pituitary gonadotrophin hormone and chorion gonadotrophin hormone. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells on the chorion membrane. The root contains shikonin, an antitumour and bactericidal compound. It inhibits the growth of E. coli, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus aureus. Shikonin also promotes the healing of wounds on topical application.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Open slopes and rocks, only in the drier areas of the Himalayas, 3300 - 4500 metres.

Other uses of Arnebia euchroma:

The root contains a copious purple dye.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. It is best to harvest the seed when it is slightly under-ripe, since it is quickly dispersed when ripe. Cuttings with a heel in the autumn in sand in a cold frame. Root cuttings in sand in a frame during the winter.

Cultivation of Arnebia euchroma:

Open slopes and rocks, only in the drier areas of the Himalayas, 3300 - 4500 metres.

Known hazards of Arnebia euchroma:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.