Hematoxylin Chemical Structure

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What is Hematoxylin (Haematoxylin) ?

Hematoxylin or Haematoxylin, also called as natural black 1, is a small organic compound extracted from heartwood of the logwood tree (Haematoxylum campechianum). It has also been referred to as Bluewood, Blackwood, Logwood Extract, and Palo de Campeche as a dye.

It is most commonly used for nuclear staining owing to it’s strong avidity for nuclei acid, that even 10 seconds of exposure will stain the nuclei a light blue. The active colorant of this stain is the oxidized form haematein.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading manufacturer & supplier of Hematoxylin dye with ISO certification.
Name of Product Hematoxylin
IUPAC Name (6aS,11bR)-7,11b-dihydro-6H-indeno[2,1-c]chromene-3,4,6a,9,10-pentol
Synonyms Hydroxybrazilin; Natural Black 1; Hematoxyline; Hydroxybrasilin; Hematoxylin hydrate; Hematoxilina; Ematossilina; Hématoxyline
CAS No 517-28-2
Color Index No 75290
Molecular Formula C16H14O6
Molecular Weight 302.28 g/mol
Pubchem CID 442514
Pubchem SID 469688483

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Color) White to yellowish crystals, turns red when exposed to light
2 Appearance (Form) Solid powder
3 Melting point 100-120 °C
4 Solubility Slightly soluble in cold water and ether;
Soluble in Alkali hydroxides, hot water, hot alcohol and borax;
5 Stability Turns Red on exposure to light;
It's solution darkens on standing;


  • Hematoxylin is principally used as a nuclear stain (to stain the nucleus).
  • In histology, hematoxylin and eosin are used in combination during H&E staining.
  • It is also a part of the Papanicolaou stain, often known as PAP stain, which is used to examine cytology specimens.
  • Hematoxylin has been used as the primary component of writing and drawing inks.
  • Additionally, it was employed as a dye in textile and leather industry to create hues of black, blue, and purple on various textiles.


Q. Is hematoxylin acidic or basic?

Hematoxylin is regarded to be a basic dye and is used for the staining of acidic structures giving them a bluish-purple appearance.

Q. Is hematoxylin positive or negative?

When combined with aluminium salts, hematoxylin forms a complex that is cationic and functions as a basic dye. Because it possesses a positive charge, it is able to interact chemically with negatively charged, basophilic components of cells, such as the nucleic acids that are found in the nucleus.

Q. Does hematoxylin stain DNA?

Haematoxylin binds to DNA and RNA and stains them violet.

Q. How do you store haematoxylin?

Reagent should be kept protected from light at room temperature (18–26°C).

Q. Can haematoxylin be reused?

Mixed haematoxylin stain should not be reused.


Biological Stains | Classification, Examples & Uses

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