FLAVONOID & ISOFLAVONOID DYES
Dyer's Greenweed, aka Dyer's Broom, was once used as a yellow dye. The dye produced contains a mixture of yellow compounds called
isoflavones, the proportions and amounts of which vary from year to year, season to season and location to location. The major dye constituents are the
flavonoids Chrysoeriol and
Diosmetin plus the
Daidzein and its glycoside
There are two main flavonoids found within Dyer's Greenweed, Chrysoeriol and Diosmetin, the latter of which differs only by a missing -OH group. Chrysoeriol is also found in plants of genus Artemisia, such as Mugwort and Wormwood. Chrysoeriol and Diosmetin (aka Luteolin 4'MethylEther) are positional isomers (aka regioisomers) of each other. Diosmetin is the aglycone (without sugar moiety) of
Diosmin (which should not be semantically confused with Geosmin). The non-native Caucasian Vetch also contains Diosmetin. IsoFlavones are also exhibit anthelmintic and antioxidants properties in the mammalian body.
There are two main isoflavonoids found within Dyer's Greenweed, Genisteine (from which the flavonoid is named) and Daidzein, the latter of which also differs only by a missing -OH group, but one which is in a differing position to that of the flavonoids.
Genisteine is also found in
Lupins, Soybeans, Fava Beans and several other members of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. Genisteine is a phytoaestrogen which are plant-derived substances which also exhibit an aestrogenic effect within the mammalian body but are not produced by mammals. Consumed phytoaestrogens seem to have a protective effect against a diverse range of conditions such as prostrate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer, osteoporosis, brain function disorders and cardiovascular diseases amongst other. IsoFlavones are normally found in plants in the glycosolated form.
Daidzein is only found in species of plants belonging to the Pea (Fabaceae) family and has similar effects on the mammalian body, described above, as does Genisteine.
AN ISOFLAVONOID GLYCOSIDE
Daidzin is a glycoside of the above isoflavonoid Daidzein. Based upon animal studies Daidzin seems to promise a treatment for alcohol dependency.
Other studies report that the main dye components are Luteolin, Apigenin and Genisteine with Chrysoeriol and
Diosmetin as more minor constituents in the dyes analysed after the wool has been dyed with Dyer's Greenweed. But obviously, the process of dying the wool might well change the proportions of Flavonoids and IsoFlavonoids found in the wool after dying, especially if the examined dyed wool is very old, as it was. These are totally different measurements from assaying the plant composition directly.