Chilca dye plant

Ancient dye plant that was used by the old "chemical" of the Hispanic cultures, for a variety of colors yellow and green. Currently, the Chilca is used by the weavers craft, keeps the tradition of their ancestors. This plant was also highly valued in medicine for their antiflamatorias and antirheumatic properties, as mentioned by chroniclers.

Scientific name: Baccharis latifolia Family: Asteracea

Common names: Chilca, chilca black, white chilca; ch'illka in Quechua.

Botanical description: A shrub with a fibrous root and cylindrical flexible stem. Its leaves are simple and lanceolate with capitate male flowers arranged in inflorescences of white flat.

Ecological level: The chilca is distributed from Venezuela to northern Argentina between 1,000 and 4,000 meters. In Peru, grows in abundance in the streams of the Sierra.

Historical Background: According to historians and chroniclers chilca been used since ancient times by pre-Hispanic cultures, highlighting among others, Ancon, Tiahuanaco, Wari, Chimu, Chancay and Inca. These sheets chilca used to obtain from them the yellow and green, which was used to dye the fibers of its textiles. Historians relate that this shrub grew in abundance in the streams of the mountains, having identified at least 14 species of this genus. The ancient Peruvians also used the wood of this plant to its buildings and its branches in basketry. With the ashes of chilca, was drafted llipta, Chacchas powder cocaine. In folk medicine used to treat rheumatism, dislocations of bones and as an activator of blood circulation.

Quote from reporter: "It's a genre Chilca and material that serves to (dye) in green, yellow and moss, and so on. And to break white or another color other than brown" Treaty of the Jesuits. ''This is a well-known killing of Indians and Spanish for its good effects; born in large numbers in the plains of Peru on the banks of rivers, and serves as firewood ... applying the Indians used hot della against any cold sore, and to this end the toast with cinnamon and drizzled with wine or brandy. It is called this shrub in the general language of Peru, chilca.''B. Cobo (V, 44)

Uses: It has medicinal uses as antiflamatorio and anti-rheumatic. It is used in agroforestry for the protection and soil conservation; so in phytochemistry. Its stems are used in basketry and the ashes of these for the development of Lliptta powder accompanying the chewing of coca. The wood is used as construction material.

How Chilca dyeing? Color: Yellow or green. Material: 3 kg of leaves chilca well cut and crushed. Dyeing: Prepare the wool with 150 g of alum (15%) in water. Browse the leaves in a pot of water with alum. Boil for one hour. Strain and cool the dye. Pour the wet wool prepared with alum and boil half an hour, moving well. Rinse until water runs clear. This leaves yellow. Color Development: To bring out the dark green wool dye, add a little iron sulphate, boil again for half an hour and wash well. (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Useful Plants of Peru - Antonio Brack).

Status of species: A wild and cultivated bush. The dyes and natural dyes have great economic potential and demand in the world, it would be desirable to increase the production of dye plants in order to develop a natural dye industry, based on biodiversity resources.