Manjistha, Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia)

Manjistha is a red rhizomatous base and roots herb that climbs or scrambles. Its maximum growth is 150 cm or 1.5 m. The stem has four angles and is thin. Its rough, evergreen leaves are oval to heart-shaped, with a long leaf stalk, and they are grouped in whorls of four per node, around the main stem in groups of four to seven. The primary 5-7 nerves in leaves. Dichasial cymes are branched clusters of tiny, greenish-white flowers with a specified number of blossoms in each branch due to the forked flowering stalk that supports the cluster. Manjistha flowers typically bloom from June to August. The flowers are pale yellow in color, with five petals that are 3–5 mm across. These small blossoms are followed by berries in hues ranging from scarlet to black. Manjistha roots can also grow up to one meter in length and 12 mm in thickness. The name of the herb refers to its brilliant red or brownish-red roots, which can be used to make red dye. The fruit is a drupe, spherical and meaty. when it's dark purple and ripe.

General Description

One of the most precious herbs utilized in Ayurveda is Manjistha. Because it contains an artificial coloring component, it was used to dye clothing in the past. Its therapeutic applications are also highlighted in Ayurveda. According to the Ayurvedic classification, it is divided into several classes. For example, Charak classified the plant as visaghna (anti-toxic), jvarahara (which lowers fever), and varnya (which improves complexion). Apart from being a well-known rasayana, Manjistha is also said by Sushruta to be pittasamsamana, or to calm the pitta dosha.

It is most well-known for cleansing blood and being beneficial for a number of skin conditions. Additionally, the herb Manjistha prevents kidney stones and corrects the way the entire urinary system functions.

Purpurin, munjistin, xanthopurpurin, also known as purpuroxanthin, and pseudopurpurin are its main ingredients.


  • Latin name - Rubia cordifolia
  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Order - Genitanales
  • Family - Rubiaceae
  • Genus - Rubia
  • Species - R. cordifolia


A well-known medicinal herb, Manjistha is primarily found in Southeast Asia, Africa, and India.


  • Botanical name - Rubia cordifolia
  • Common name - Indian Madder, Madderwort
  • Bengali name - Manjishta
  • Sanskrit name - Vikasa, Yojanavalli, Jingi, Vastrabhushana, Kalameshi, Samanga, Lohitalata, Bhandiri, Raktanga, Lata
  • Hindi name - Manjeeth
  • Tamil name - Manjitti
  • Telugu name - Tamravalli
  • Kannada name - Raktamanjishte
  • Malayalam name - Manjetti
  • Arabian name - Phuvva
  • Farsi name - Runas

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Tikta, Kashaya, Madhura

Bitter, Astringent, Sweet

Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Guru

Heavy, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

The vitiated Pitta and Kapha are calmed by Kapha Pitta Shamak. Mostly, it is Pittahara.

Classical Categorization

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita


  • Jvarahara (Helps in treating fever)
  • Varnya (Good for skin)
  • Vishaghna (Anti-toxic and Anti-poisonous)
  • Priyangvadi and Pittasamshamana
  • Priyangvadi

Practical Uses

  • Blood purifier - It is among the best herbs for clearing the blood and eliminating toxins from the body.
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial - This herb's natural compounds, which include sulfur and tannins, have the capacity to eradicate bacterial diseases.
  • Anti-inflammatory - Salicylates and triterpenoids, which reduce edema and inflammation, are present in it. additionally beneficial for skin conditions and wound healing.
  • Antispasmodic properties - Providing relief from uncomfortable uterine cramps and muscular spasms during menstruation. Additionally, it supports regular menstrual cycles. This herb can help improve menstruation flow by cleaning the uterus.
  • Immunity enhancer - It raises the white blood cells in your immune system and helps to strengthen your defenses. The plant strengthens the body's defenses against a range of infections and crippling illnesses.
  • Anxiety and mood disorders - It might increase dopamine levels, which are neurotransmitters that regulate brain function. relieves anxiety and mental issues as well.
  • Joint problem - This plant is used to treat swellings of the glandular mucosa, arthritis linked to gout, and elevated uric acid. It helps in the body's uric acid removal.
  • Manjistha is an anthelmintic and has an astringent quality that decreases motility. Consequently, it is used to treat helminthes, diarrhea, and dysentery that is accompanied by bleeding. 
  • It has an excellent capacity for digestion and serves as a wonderful appetizer.
  • The plant is used to treat fever, particularly postpartum fever and chronic pyrexia.
  • It is applied to various skin conditions, including hypopigmentation, erysipelas, and leprosy.
  • Extremely helpful for poisoning, general debility, and weakness.
  • The plant lowers blood pressure and aids in maintaining the body's cholesterol levels.
  • It is a very effective interior and external skin luster and glow enhancer.
  • This herb has a chemical called ruberythric acid, which has the ability to clear the urinary tract of calcium stones.

Part Used

Roots, Stem


  • Decoction - 20-50 ml.
  • Powder - 1-3 gm

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