Tag Archives: Sulfuric acid

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.

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).

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).

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.

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).

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.





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Sodium Carbonate


Sanskrit Name:Svarjikshara

DEFINITION:-Sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda or soda ash), Na2CO3, is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. It has a cooling alkaline taste, and can be extracted from the ashes of many plants. It is synthetically produced in large quantities from table salt in a process known as the Solvay process.


Sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash, is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. Molecular formula for sodium carbonate is na2co3. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. It has a cooling alkaline taste, and can be extracted from the ashes of many plants.

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sodium carbonate chemical compound, Na 2 CO 3 , soluble in water and very slightly soluble in alcohol. Pure sodium carbonate is a white, odorless powder that absorbs moisture from the air, has an alkaline taste, and forms a strongly alkaline water solution. It is one of the most basic industrial chemicals. Sodium carbonate decahydrate, Na 2 CO 3 ·10H 2 O, is a colorless, transparent crystalline compound commonly called sal soda or washing soda.

The most important use for sodium carbonate is in the manufacture of glass. When heated to very high temperatures, combined with sand (SiO2) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and cooled very rapidly, glass is produced.

Sodium carbonate is also used as a relatively strong base in various settings. For example, sodium carbonate is used as a pH regulator to maintain stable alkaline conditions necessary for the action of the majority of developing agents. It is a common additive in municipal pools used to neutralize the acidic effects of chlorine and raise pH. In cooking, it is sometimes used in place of sodium hydroxide for lying, especially with German pretzels and lye rolls. These dishes are treated with a solution of an alkaline substance in order to change the pH of the surface of the food and thus improve browning.

In taxidermy, sodium carbonate added to boiling water will remove flesh from the skull or bones of trophies to create the “European skull mount” or for educational display in biological and historical studies.

In chemistry, it is often used as an electrolyte. This is because electrolytes are usually salt-based, and sodium carbonate acts as a very good conductor in the process of electrolysis. Additionally, unlike chloride ions which form chlorine gas, carbonate ions are not corrosive to the anodes. It is also used as a primary standard for acid-base titrations because it is solid and air-stable, making it easy to weigh accurately.

In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry. It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions. Called Washing Soda or Sal Soda  in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains. Sodium carbonate is also used as a descaling agent in boilers such as found in coffee pots, espresso machines, etc.

In dyeing with fiber-reactive dyes, sodium carbonate (often under a name such as soda ash fixative or soda ash activator) is used to ensure proper chemical bonding of the dye with the fibers, typically before dyeing (for tie dyes), mixed with the dye (for dye painting), or after dyeing (for immersion dyeing).

Sodium carbonate is a food additive (E500) used as an acidity regulator, anticaking agent, raising agent and stabilizer. It is one of the components of kansui, a solution of alkaline salts used to give ramen noodles their characteristic flavor and texture. Sodium carbonate is also used in the production of sherbet lollies. The cooling and fizzing sensation results from the endothermic reaction between sodium carbonate and a weak acid, commonly citric acid, releasing carbon dioxide gas, which occurs when the sherbet is moistened by saliva.

Sodium carbonate is used by the brick industry as a wetting agent to reduce the amount of water needed to extrude the clay.

In casting, it is referred to as “bonding agent” and is used to allow wet alginate to adhere to gelled alginate.

Sodium carbonate is used to encapsulate and kill mold. When mixed with water and put in a spray bottle, it is sold for its anti-mold cleaning ability. It is also used to blast off mold from wood or other materials.

Sodium carbonate is used in toothpastes, where it acts as a foaming agent, an abrasive, and to temporarily increase mouth pH.

The crystalline form of washing soda can be used to induce vomiting in dogs. A tablespoon for large breeds is sufficient to force the animal to empty the contents of its stomach.

Sodium carbonate may be used for safely cleaning silver. First, aluminium foil is added to a glass or ceramic container, and covered with very hot water and some sodium carbonate. Silver items are dipped into this “bath” to clean them, making sure the silver makes contact with the aluminium foil. Finally, the silver is rinsed in water and let to dry.

Sodium carbonate is soluble in water, but can occur naturally in arid regions, especially in the mineral deposits (evaporites) formed when seasonal lakes evaporate. Deposits of the mineral natron, natural sodium carbonate decahydrate, have been mined from dry lake bottoms in Egypt since ancient times, when natron was used in the preparation of mummies and in the early manufacture of glass. Sodium carbonate has three known forms of hydrates: sodium carbonate decahydrate (natron), sodium carbonate heptahydrate (not known in mineral form) and sodium carbonate monohydrate (mineral thermonatrite). The anhydrous mineral form of sodium carbonate is quite rare and called natrite. Sodium carbonate also erupts from Tanzania’s unique volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai , and probably erupted from other volcanoes in the past . All three mineralogical forms of sodium carbonate, as well as sodium carbonate bicarbonate, trona, are also known from ultra-alkaline pegmatitic rocks, i.e. from the Kola Peninsula.


Trona, hydrated sodium bicarbonate carbonate (Na3HCO3CO3·2H2O), is mined in several areas of the United States and provides nearly all the domestic sodium carbonate. Large natural deposits found in 1938, such as the one near Green River, Wyoming, have made mining more economical than industrial production in North America.

It is also mined out of certain alkaline lakes such as Lake Magadi in Kenya by using a basic dredging process and it is also self-regenerating so will never run out in its natural source.

Barilla and kelp
Several “halophyte” (salt tolerant) plant species and seaweed species can be processed to yield an impure form of sodium carbonate, and these sources predominated in Europe and elsewhere until the early 19th Century. The land plants (typically glassworts or saltworts) or the seaweed (typically Fucus species) were harvested, dried, and burned. The ashes were then “lixiviated” (washed with water) to form an alkali solution. This solution was boiled dry to create the final product, which was termed “soda ash;” this very old name refers to the archetypal plant source for soda ash, which was the small annual shrub Salsola soda (“barilla plant”).

The sodium carbonate concentration in soda ash varied very widely, from 2-3% for the seaweed-derived form (“kelp”), to 30% for the best barilla produced from saltwort plants in Spain. Plant and seaweed sources for soda ash, and also for the related alkali “potash,” became increasingly inadequate by the end of the 18th Century, and the search for commercially-viable routes to synthesizing soda ash from salt and other chemicals intensified.

Leblanc process:
In 1791, the French chemist Nicolas Leblanc patented a process for producing sodium carbonate from salt, sulfuric acid, limestone, and coal. First, sea salt (sodium chloride) was boiled in sulfuric acid to yield sodium sulfate and hydrogen chloride gas, according to the chemical equation

2 NaCl + H2SO4 ? Na2SO4 + 2 HCl
Next, the sodium sulfate was blended with crushed limestone (calcium carbonate) and coal, and the mixture was burnt, producing calcium sulfide.

Na2SO4 + CaCO3 + 2 C ? Na2CO3 + 2 CO2 + CaS
The sodium carbonate was extracted from the ashes with water, and then collected by allowing the water to evaporate.

The hydrochloric acid produced by the Leblanc process was a major source of air pollution, and the calcium sulfide byproduct also presented waste disposal issues. However, it remained the major production method for sodium carbonate until the late 1880s.

Solvay process
In 1861, the Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay developed a method to convert sodium chloride to sodium carbonate using ammonia. The Solvay process centered around a large hollow tower. At the bottom, calcium carbonate (limestone) was heated to release carbon dioxide:

CaCO3 ? CaO + CO2
At the top, a concentrated solution of sodium chloride and ammonia entered the tower. As the carbon dioxide bubbled up through it, sodium bicarbonate precipitated:

NaCl + NH3 + CO2 + H2O ? NaHCO3 + NH4Cl
The sodium bicarbonate was then converted to sodium carbonate by heating it, releasing water and carbon dioxide:

2 NaHCO3 ? Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2
Meanwhile, the ammonia was regenerated from the ammonium chloride byproduct by treating it with the lime (calcium hydroxide) left over from carbon dioxide generation:

CaO + H2O ? Ca(OH)2
Ca(OH)2 + 2 NH4Cl ? CaCl2 + 2 NH3 + 2 H2O
Because the Solvay process recycled its ammonia, it consumed only brine and limestone, and had calcium chloride as its only waste product. This made it substantially more economical than the Leblanc process, and it soon came to dominate world sodium carbonate production. By 1900, 90% of sodium carbonate was produced by the Solvay process, and the last Leblanc process plant closed in the early 1920s.

Hou’s process
Developed by a Chinese chemist Hou Debang in 1930s. It is the same as the Solvay process in the first few steps. But, instead of treating the remaining solution with lime, carbon dioxide and ammonia is pumped into the solution, and sodium chloride is added until it is saturated at 40 °C. Then the solution is cooled down to 10 °C. Ammonium chloride precipitates and is removed by filtration, the solution is recycled to produce more sodium bicarbonate. Hou’s Process eliminates the production of calcium chloride and the byproduct ammonium chloride can be used as a fertilizer.
Internal: constipation, diuretic, Gulmanashak, colic, pain abdominal, worms intestinal, flatulence, eructations, abdominal winds, tympenitis, irritable bowel syndrome. External: promotes suppuration of boils, burns, pimples, leucoderma, white patches of skin.