Seven herbs to make seven colours of soap

December 17th, 2011 BY Angelina Leigh | No Comments

I lack colour in my life today…After a series of downs, came a great upside which just goes to prove the old saying, there’s a rainbow after every storm to be true to the last letter. And so today I feel like I would like very much to make a rainbow (rainbow soap to be more precise) but that wouldn’t be much of a challenge would it? So I added this little condition to my task – to color only with natural herbal concocted dyes….now let us see if that’s possible.
Let’s begin by first seeing if I recall the correct order of the colours…. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.

Red’s a pretty easy colour to get from nature. But the classic rainbow’s red is a bright one so that helps us narrow down the search to the Madder Root which gives a deep, rich red hue. The root of the madder plant itself is not red, but contains alizarin, which can be made to produce red lakes of several shades.


Orange is another colour that you can find various options for. But I’m looking for a cheery orange to match the madder red. So either paprika, turmeric or safflower petals would do just fine.  The intensity of the orange you get varies between these 3 herbs, but I would stick with safflower because it gives a rich orange-yellow colour.


Anatto seeds give a lovely light yellow to yellow-orange colour.  Alternatively a good yellow can be achieved by using the petals of the calendula flower.


Kelp/seaweed gives the most amazing green, but they do tend to have a bluish tinge. So if we want a more grass green colour then the extract of wheatgrass would be perfect!


Woad (first year leaves), the miracle Isatis tinctoria used in the treatment of breast cancer, colds and throat infections will give our soap a beautiful sky blue colour.


Well the obvious choice is indigo! But this colour is really strong so a little goes a long way and the Japanese Indigo flower will give the perfect shade.


Alkanet root will give the soap a beautiful pinkish purple colour if we keep the soap white.


And there we have it! Natural colours to make a rainbow of soap!