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Woad Facts

Three kilos of leaves (the most I can process at one time), produces just 8 gm of powder. On a commercial scale, one acre of land produces about ten tonnes of leaves twice a year. One tonne of leaves produces just two kilos of woad powder.
60 kg of de-winged seeds produces 1 litre of woad oil for soap making.
The indigotin produced by woad is identical to that produced by indigo plants. Woad produces about ten times less indigotin per kilo of leaves than tropical indigo.

Woad has become another weapon in the fight against breast cancer. New research has found that this plant has 20 times more of the anti-cancer chemical glucobrassicin than broccoli. It is difficult to extract the chemical from broccoli, so woad can provide an effective alternative. Woad can produce even more of this chemical if the young leaves are damaged.
Woad is also supposed to aid in shape-shifting and the study of past lives during magic rituals.
Woad is considered to be a pest in some states of the USA. It should not be intentionally cultivated in about 10 states but is legal to grow in the remaining states (see Links). It likes to grow in open cleared land and is not edible to livestock.

Woad in other languages

Isatis tinctoria (scientific name)
Other names;
Isatis, Isate, Pastel-dos-tintureiros (Portuguese)
Pastel des teinturiers, Guède (French)

Hierba pastel (Spanish)
Färber Waid (German)
Guado (Italian)
Wede (Dutch)
Wad (Anglo-Saxon)


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Website and photos by Mike Roberts                 © 2006-07 www.woad.org.uk