Rubia cordifolia

Botanical Name :Rubia cordifolia
Family: Rubiaceae
Tribe: Rubieae
Genus: Rubia
Species: R. cordifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name:Common Madder or Indian Madder,Madderwort, Lukelangafu, Lukera Batuzi,( Manjistha in Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali, Majith in Hindi and Gujarati, Tamaralli in Telugu, Manditti in Tamil.)

Habitat :Rubia cordifolia  grows throughout tropical India ascending to an altitude of 300m

Description:
It 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 1 m long, up to 12 mm thick. 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. It is one of the active ingredients of cystone formulation of Himalaya healthcare.

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Medicinal Uses:
The roots are alterative, anodyne, antiphlogistic, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. They are used to lower the blood pressure. The roots are used internally in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, internal and external haemorrhage, bronchitis, rheumatism, stones in the kidney, bladder and gall and dysentery . The stems are used as they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. They are used in the treatment of blood disorders and spreading fever of kidneys and intestines. A valuable red dye is obtained from the root and stems. Roots are made into paste for application into ulcers, inflammations and skin troubles. A decoction of leaves and stem is used as a vermifuge

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The roots have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Pneumococci etc. They are used to lower the blood pressure. The roots are used internally in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, internal and external hemorrhage, bronchitis, rheumatism, stones in the kidney, bladder and gall bladder, dysentery etc. The stems are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. They are used in the treatment of blood disorders and spreading fever of kidneys and intestines.  This is one of the most reliable alterative blood-purifying herbs in the Chinese pharmacopeia.  It cools, detoxifies, and dissolves obstructions in the blood, particularly in the female reproductive system.  Its deobstruent properties extend to tumors, kidney stones and liver clots, all of which it helps dissolve and eliminate.  It’s an excellent choice for any condition that causes or is caused by blood and liver toxicity.

Rubia cordifolia was an economically important source of a red pigment in many regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. It was extensively cultivated from antiquity until the mid nineteenth century. The plant’s roots contain an organic compound called Alizarin, that gives its red colour to a textile dye known as Rose madder. It was also used as a colourant , especially for paint, that is referred to as Madder lake. The substance was also derived other species; Rubia tinctorum, also widely cultivated, and the Asiatic species Rubia argyi (H. Léveillé & Vaniot) H. Hara ex Lauener (synonym = Rubia akane Nakai[1], based on the Japanese Aka = red, and ne = root). The invention of a synthesized duplicate, an anthracene compound called alizarin, greatly reduced demand for the natural derivative.

The roots of Rubia cordifolia are also the source of a medicine used in Ayurveda, this is commonly known in Ayurvedic Sanskrit as Manjistha (or Manjista or Manjishta) and the commercial product in Hindi as Manjith.

It is known as btsod  in Traditional Tibetan Medicine where it is used to treat blood disorders; spread heat , excess heat in the lungs, kidneys, and intestines; reduce swelling; and is a component of the three reds ), a subcompound included in many Tibetan preparations in order to remove excess heat in the blood.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is known as qiàn cao gen

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/Rubia_cordifolia
http://www.motherherbs.com/rubia-cordifolia.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.asianflora.com/Rubiaceae/Rubia-cordifolia.htm

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