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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Routine H&E Staining. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Origin of Dyes: Natural

Natural dyes are derived from substances found in nature. Some examples of natural dyes are:

Indigo: A blue dye obtained from a variety of plants; but mostly from those in the genus indigofera, which are native to the tropics.

Cochineal: A red dye prepared from a dried tropical insect that feeds on cacti.

Orcein: A purple dye prepared from a certain colorless lichen. Lichen are organisms that grow on rocks, tree branches, or bare ground and are composed of a green alga and a colorless fungus.

Brazilin: Stains red and is derived from the bark of a Brazilwood tree which is a species native to Central America.

Hematoxylin: Is derived from Haematoxylon campecianum, a forest tree from Central America also know as the logwood tree. Haematoxylon literally means "blood wood" and it refers to the color of the heartwood.