Herbs & Plants


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

Common Names:   Common Madder or Indian Madder,Manjistha in Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali, Majith in Hindi and Gujarati, Tamaralli in Telugu, Manditti in Tamil.

Habitat :It grows widely throughout India, ascending to an altitude of 3,750m.


This plant was used in Indian medicine as a coloring agent and Cakradatta recommended it as an application to the brown spots of pityriasis vesicolor. Ainslie observed that the hakims were in the habit of prescribing an infusion of this plant’s root as a deobstruent drink in cases of scanty lochial discharge after lying-in. Kinnier and Tavernier noticed an abundance of this plant in Persia and Makran.
 Description :
A very variable, prickly creeper or climber. The rootstocks are perennial; the roots, long and cylindric with a thin, red bark; the stems, four angled. The leaves are very variable, cordate-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-8 in a whorl, normally 4, sometimes 1 pair is larger. The flowers are small, white or greenish, or in shades of red and yellow, sweet-scented in terminal panicles of cymes; the fruits, globose, or slightly 2-lobed, dark-purplish or black, fleshy with 2 small seeds.

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Principal Constituents:
Purpurin, Munjistin, Xanthopurpurin or Purpuroxanthin and Pseudopurpurin.
The roots are credited with tonic, antiseptic, and deobstruent properties. They are used in rheumatism.
Parts Used:
Root. Each plant has a different therapeutic value and must be prepared in its own way for maximum benefits. This climbing plant is found in the northwest Himalayas and hilly districts of India.
Combinations are Best :
The experts Ayurveda do not recommend the use of single herbs for self-care due to several important reasons:
Single herbs often have unwanted effects over time, which can be canceled by herbs in proper combination.
Herbs in combination are much more powerful.
Good formulas address all co-factors to a health goal for much greater effectiveness.
Expert combinations include herbs that increase assimilation and effective potency of the other ingredients.
Herbs have different effects according to dose, and when mixed with other herbs.


+ Neem, Turmeric, Gotu kola, Aloe vera in skin conditions with high pitta.

+ Lotus node, Amalaki in bleeding with raktapitta.

+ Safflower, Shatavari, Guggul in congestion of the uterus with pain.

+ Guggul, Turmeric for tumours and accumulations all over the body.

+ Arjuna, Licorice, Myrrh, Turmeric in fractures.

+ Gokshura and Shilajit for bladder and kidney stones.

+ Sandalwood, Gokshura, Coriander for urinary discomfort with burning.

Skin Its affinity for raktadhatu is specifically utilised to clean, cool and clear the blood of all excess pitta, heat, inflammation, visha (toxins) and ama. Used for itching in eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, vitiligo, acne, acne rosacea and herpes (kushta, visarpa). It normalises rakta dhatu agni. A favourite herb to help relieve pruritis when the liver and bhrajaka pitta are aggravated. Its circulatory invigorating properties make it a superb remedy for removing stubborn and chronic lesions. Also used in scabies and Tinea pedis. It also benefits these conditions when used as a wash or in a cream. It is a wonderful rejuvenative to the complexion.
Bleeding Manjishta stops bleeding by two methods; cooling the ‘heat’ that causes blood to burst out of its proper channel, and it also clears congested blood that can cause blood to overflow out of its appropriate pathway. Very good in raktatisara and Diarrhea with bleeding; Crohn’s disease, dysentery, bleeding ulcers. It can also treat haemoptysis, epistaxis, menorrhagia, menorrhagia and haematuria in the appropriate pattern. It acts as a vulnerary and hastens the healing time of skin trauma and broken bones.

Gynaecology Useful in signs of congested uterus and pain (yonishula) with dysmenorrhoea fixed pain, clots, amenorrhoea and endometriosis; use a cold infusion. All menstrual imbalances involving aggravations of pitta and kapha disturbing the artavasrotas. Also used to prevent miscarriage and excessive uterine bleeding.

Tumours/Accumulations Manjishta breaks accumulations of kapha in the bladder, liver and kidneys.

Urine Its pitta reducing quality helps to clear pittaja prameha, particular types of diabetes involving repeated infections, boils, inflammatory conditions, neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy. Also for manjishta prameha where the excessive urination is also coloured red. It is also a specific for gradually dissolving kidney and bladder stones as the anthraquinones act as chelating agents helping to draw excess calcium from the system. Also used to stop haematuria.

Mind Its cooling effect on sadhaka pitta has a balancing effect on the emotions and is used in epilepsy and agitation with high pitta.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Manjistha is considered to be the best alternative or blood-purifying herb. It cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in blood flow, and removes stagnant blood. Manjistha also has healing properties that help protect gums from receding and/or bleeding. It is believed to have antioxidant and astringent properties as well.

Manjistha Uses & Scientific Evidence For:
Today in Ayurvedic medicine, Manjistha is used as an immune regulator. Scientific studies have shown that it regulates blood pressure, blood vessel constriction, and helps prohibit blood clot formation. Manjistha is used to treat raised uric acid, arthritis associated with gout, glandular swellings, reoccurring skin infections and other skin diseases such as pigmentation anomalies and leucoderma. It works in conjunction with other products in treating uterine and urinary infections, diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic fevers. Manjistha can be used to treat irregular menstruation. This herb works very well both internally and externally to promote skin glow and lustre. It also helps remove pimples, freckles, other discolorations, and promotes the healing of skin tissues damaged by injury or infection.

In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used as an immune regulator. Its antioxidant properties are also being investigated. Its role in supporting heart health is evidenced by studies that show that it regulates blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and the tendency of blood to form clots.

Though manjishtha is at the same time bitter, astringent and sweet in taste and heavy, dry and hot in effect, it is a pacifier of kapha and pitta. Besides the glucosides known as manjisthin and purpurine, its chemical composition consists of various other components which include resins, lime salts and colouring agents. Manjishtha is used in a number of diseases. It is a drug of choice for treating various systemic problems like raised uric acid and gouty arthritis, glandular swellings, recurrent skin infections and other diseases of the skin like pigmentation anomalies and leucoderma. It is also included in various formulations to treat uterine and urinary infections, diarrhoea, dysentery and chronic fevers. Manjishtha holds the reputation of a very good skincare herb. Used externally and internally, it helps one to gain lustre and glow (of the skin) and aids to remove pimples, freckles and discoloration.

Manjishtha promotes the healing of skin tissues damaged by injury or infection. Its finely crushed powder can be simply applied on the face after mixing it with little honey. A combination of dried and crushed orange peels 100 gm, and sandal powder, turmeric and manjishtha powders each 50 gm, makes an excellent face pack.

Since manjishtha has a marked effect on the female reproductive organs, it is useful treating various gynaecological problems, like white discharge and irregular menstruation.

Very Effective for: acne, pimples, boils and aczema

For Acne, Pimples Boils,Eczema: Apply an amalgamation of Indian madder with red sandalwood powder, turmeric, kuth and fuller’s earth (multani mitti) on the affected area.
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Other Uses:
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, 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 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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