Manjishtha (Indian Madder)

Botanical Name : Rubia cardifolia
Family Name: Rubiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Tribe: Rubieae
Genus: Rubia
vernacular Name: Sans-Mnajistha ,Hind – Manjith , Eng-indian madder

Habitat:Native to the Old World, Africa, temperate Asia and America.

Description:Rubia is a genus of the madder family Rubiaceae, which contains about 60 species of perennial scrambling or climbing herbs and sub-shrubs. It is prickly creeper or climber with a wide range of morphological characters.

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The Common Madder can grow to 1.5 m in height. The evergreen leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4-7 starlike around the central stem. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems. The flowers are small (3-5 mm across), with five pale yellow petals, in dense racemes, and appear from June to August, followed by small (4-6 mm diameter) red to black berries. The roots can be over a metre long, up to 12 mm thick and the source of a red dye known as rose madder. It prefers loamy soils with a constant level of moisture. Madders are used as food plants for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hummingbird hawk moth.

Species
Rubia akane
Rubia alaica Pachom.
Rubia angustifolia L.
Rubia chinensis Regel & Maack
Rubia chitralensis Ehrend.
Rubia cordata Thunb
Rubia cordifolia L. : Indian Madder
Rubia cretacea Pojark.
Rubia deserticola Pojark.
Rubia dolichophylla Schrenk
Rubia florida Boiss.
Rubia fruticosa
Rubia jesoensis (Miq.) Miyabe & Miyake
Rubia komarovii Pojark.
Rubia krascheninnikovii Pojark.
Rubia laevissima Tscherneva
Rubia laxiflora Gontsch.
Rubia pavlovii Bajtenov & Myrz.
Rubia peregrina L. : Wild Madder
Rubia rechingeri Ehrend.
Rubia regelii Pojark.
Rubia rezniczenkoana Litv.
Rubia rigidifolia Pojark.
Rubia schugnanica B.Fedtsch. ex Pojark.
Rubia sikkimensis Kurz
Rubia syrticola Miq.
Rubia tatarica (Trevir.) F.Schmidt
Rubia tibetica Hook.f.
Rubia tinctorum L. : Common Madder
Rubia transcaucasica Grossh.
Rubia yunnanensis (Franch. ex Diels) Diels
Poultice of Rubia ( Rinias in Kurdish) and yolk of eggs is used to treat of bone fraction in Traditional Kurdish Medicine in Iran (Ref. Kurdish Ethnopharmacology Group; Mohammad Amirian).

Constituents:
The roots contain a mixture of purpurin (trihydroxy anthraquinone) and munjistin (xanthopurpurin-2-carboxylic acid), and small amounts of xanthopurpurin or purpuroxanthin and pseudopurpurin (purpurin-3-carboxylic acid). Several substituted naphthoquinones and hydroxy anhraquinones and their glycosides have been isolated from the roots. Aldehyde aceate, dihydromollugin and rubimallin showed antibacterial activities.

The roots contain the acid ruberthyrin. By drying, fermenting or a treatment with acids, this is changed to sugar, alizarin and purpurin. Purpurin is normally not coloured, but is red when dissolved in alcalic solutions. Mixed with clay and treated with alum and ammonia, it gives a brilliant red colourant (madder lake).

History
Early evidence of dyeing comes from India where a piece of cotton dyed with madder has been recovered from the archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro (3rd millennium BCE).[1] Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder (De Re Natura) mention the plant (Rubia passiva). In Viking age levels of York, remains of both woad and madder have been excavated. The oldest textiles dyed with madder come from the grave of the Merovingian queen Arnegundis in St. Denis near Paris (between 565 and 570 AD). In the “Capitulare de villis” of Charlemagne, madder is mentioned as “warentiam”. The herbal of Hildegard of Bingen mentions the plant as well. The red coats of the British Redcoats were dyed with madder.

According to Culpeper’s herbal, the plant is ruled by Mars and has an opening quality, and will bind and strengthen afterwards. It was used in the treatment of jaundice, obstruction of the spleen, melancholy, palsy, haemorrhoids, sciatica, and of bruises. The root should be boiled in wine, and sugar or honey added. The seed of madder, drunk with vinegar and honey is used for the swelling of the spleen. Leaves and stems are used when the monthly female menstrual bleeding is late. Leaves and roots are squashed and put on freckles and other discolorations of the skin.

Uses:
It has been used since ancient times as a vegetable red dye for leather, wool, cotton and silk. For dye production, the roots are harvested in the first year. The outer brown layer gives the common variety of the dye, the lower yellow layer the refined variety. The dye is fixed to the cloth with help of a mordant, most commonly alum. Madder can be fermented for dyeing as well (Fleurs de garance). In France, the remains were used to produce a spirit as well.

The roots contain the acid ruberthyrin. By drying, fermenting or a treatment with acids, this is changed to sugar, alizarin and purpurin. Purpurin is normally not coloured, but is red when dissolved in alcalic solutions. Mixed with clay and treated with alum and ammonia, it gives a brilliant red colourant (madder lake).

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The pulverised roots can be dissolved in sulfuric acid, which leaves a dye called garance (the French name for madder) after drying. Another method of increasing the yield consisted of dissolving the roots in sulfuric acid after they had been used for dyeing. This produces a dye called garanceux. By treating the pulverized roots with alcohol, colorin was produced. It contained 40-50 times the amount of alizarin of the roots.

The chemical name for the pigment is alizarin, of the anthraquinone-group. In 1869, the German chemists Graebe and Liebermann synthesised artificial alizarin, which was produced industrially from 1871 onwards, which effectively put an end to the cultivation of madder. In the 20th century, madder was only grown in some areas of France.

Medicinal Uses:A spreading plant with wines. Paste made of root in honey is applied over freckles, skin discoloration, leucoderma, inflammation, swellings, scaly skin disease, skin ulcers etc. Paste made of roots should be applied on insect bites. On inflammation and swellings due to fractures roots of Rubia cordifolia and glycyrrhiza glabra mixed with rice vinegar is applied.

Ayurvedic Uses:
Parts used – roots

Properties and uses
The roots are sweet, bitter, astringent, thermogenic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, digestive, carminative, antidysentric, diuretic, galacto-purifier, ophthalmic, rejuvenating and tonic.

Useful in vitiated kapha and pitta, rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, cephalalgia, dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, lepsory, skin diseases, leucoderma, pruritus, wounds, ulcers, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, opthalmopathy, intermattent fever, pharyngitis, cough, diabetes, discolouration of skin, sloe healing of broken bones, tubercular conditions of skin, jaundice, hepatopathy, splenopathy, leucorrhoea, pectoral diseases and general debility.

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madder

http://www.indiavideo.org/text/indian-madder-936.php

http://www.drugdelivery.ca/s33632-s-MANJISHTHA.aspx
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#kanchanara

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