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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Manjishtha (Rubia Cordifolia) - Health Benefits, Medicinal Uses & Home Remedies

Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is a branched climber that grows up to 1.5 to 2 cm in height, cultivated in sub-tropical regions in moist soil and abundantly present in the Himalayan region. Manjishtha has a chemical named purpurin that makes it red and gives red colors to dye hence in ancient times it is used for dye clothes that is why synonymously called as vastraranjini. Basically, it is a raktashodhak / blood purifier, mainly acts on the circulatory system and on the skin.

Manjishtha, Rubia Cordifolia

Everybody wants to look beautiful, young and want flawless skin, manjishtha is a perfect herb that helps to achieve that goal. It helps to purify blood thus useful in all skin problems and enhances complexion. This herb is widely used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Manjishtha is present in almost every cosmetic product because of its wide range of action in enhancing beauty and hence it is used in skin care products and hair care products. The main part that is used for preparing medicines is 'root' initially, they are sweet in taste but after drying it turns to bitter. These roots can grow upto 1 meter long, the thickness is about 12 mm and are of bright red colour.


  • Botanical name – Rubiacordifolia
  • Family – Rubiaceae
  • English name – Indian Madder
  • Hindi - Manjeeth


  • Classified by Bhavaprakasha under -‘Haritakiadivarga’
  • Charaka - Javarahar, Varnya, Vishaghana
  • Sushruta – Priyangvadi and Pittasamshamana
  • Vagbhata – Priyangvadi


Bhavaprakashanighantu / haritakiadivarga / manjishtha / shloka no. 189 - 190

Reference – Bhavaprakashanighantu / haritakiadivarga / manjishtha / shloka no. 189 - 190

Manjishta, viksa, jinghi, samanga, kalmeshika, mandukparnibhandiri, bhandi, yojnavalli, rasayani, aruna, kala, raktangi, raktyashtika, bhanditaki, gandiri, manjushsha, vastraranjini are the synonyms of manjishtha.


Bhavaprakashanighantu / haritakiadivarga / manjishtha / shloka no. 190 - 191

Reference – Bhavaprakashanighantu / haritakiadivarga / manjishtha / shloka no. 190 - 191

  • Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent)
  • Guna (Qualities) – Guru (heavy)
  • Virya (Potency) – Ushna (hot in potency)
  • Vipaka (End product of digestion) – Katu (an end product of digestion is pungent in nature)
  • Prabhava (Special action) – Varnya (enhances complexion)
  • Action over dosha – Balance Pitta dosha and subside Kapha dosha in our body.
  • Action over dhatus – Rasa (lymph), rakta (blood) and majja (bone marrow).
  • Effects – swarya (improves voice quality), varnya (enhances complexion), raktashodhaka (blood purifier)
  • Vishasleshmashotha yoni netrakarna – It helps to manage Kapha dosha, treats diseases of eyes, ears and uterus and also manage swelling and eliminate the poison from our body.
  • Useful in raktatisaar (bleeding disorders), kushtha (skin disease), visarpa (Herpes zoster), vrana (ulcers), meha (diabetes).
  • Some other properties are mutrala (diuretic), vranaropak (heals wound), grahi (retains or absorbs)
Classical Reference of Manjishtha


It contains manjistin, garancin, alizarin, xanthine, purpurin and some glycosides. They are abundantly present in roots.


  • Bleeding disorders –
    a) ITP – Blue spots (bruises) are very common in Immune thrombocytopenic purpura the reason behind that is reduced platelet count, manjishtha acts on bone marrow and enhances the production of platelets and along with that purifies the blood. Hence, helps to regain the normal skin texture.
    b) Dysfunctional uterine bleeding – It has kashaya rasa (astringent), that helps to arrest heavy bleeding.

  • Skin problems – It is a blood purifier thus reduces acne and pimples. As per beauty concern it reduces marks, blemishes, dark circles and wrinkles thus act as an anti - aging agent by exfoliating dead skin and maintains the skin tone.
  • Rasayan – It is also a rejuvenating herb that helps to reduce wrinkles and age related degenerative changes in the body mainly our skin. Exfoliate dead skin and maintains the skin tone
  • Hoarseness of voice – It has swarya action that helps to improve voice quality.


  • For enhancing complexion – Mix 5 grams of manjishtha powder in cow milk, make a paste. You can apply this paste and wash it after drying, use twice daily. It is more effective if used along with chandan powder (sandal).
  • Bleeding disorders – Take 3-5 grams of powder with plain water preferably after meals, twice daily.
  • Joint problems – Paste of manjishtha if applied locally by adding shunthi (Dry ginger) it will reduce the swelling.
  • Skin problems – Decoction made up of manjishtha, triphala (haritaki, bhibhitaki, amlaki), giloy and haridra (curcumin) is helpful in managing all kind of skin infections. You can use this decoction internally as well as externally for washing infections and wounds.
  • Wounds – For washing wounds, you can use a decoction of manjishtha as it has vranaropaka property, aids wound healing.
  • Hoarse voice – In case of hoarseness of voice you can use manjishtha powder along with yashtimadhu (licorice) powder.
  • Blemishes - You can apply in the form of manjishtha oil.
  • Uterine disorders – It stimulates the uterine contraction hence detox the uterus and manjishtha powder is beneficial if used along with ikshu (Sugarcane) and pippali (Piper longum).
  • On swelling – It can be applied over the inflammation as a paste which is prepared from manjishtha along with Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), mulethi (licorice). 
  • Burns and scalds – Murva, chandan and go ghrita along with manjishtha if applied over burns, reduces burning sensation and pains.
  • Jaundice and calculus – As it has diuretic property, it will eliminate bile and stones.
  • In diabetes manjishtha along with amla (Indian gooseberry) and haridra (Curcumin) is considered as an efficient home remedy to control diabetes.
  • It is also beneficial in diarrhea and dysentery in the form of decoction.
  • In pleurisy, manjishtha can be applied over thorax.


  • Bleeding disorders
  • Skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne etc.
  • Dark circles, wrinkles and blemishes
  • Joint disorders
  • Chronic ulcers
  • It can also be indicated in diabetes, diarrhea, pleurisy etc.


Roots and stems


  • Powder – 3 to 6 gms
  • Decoction – 50 to 100 ml
  • Oil – As per requirement


This herb can be adulterated with brick powder.


This herb is available in various forms like -


While using manjishtha you may feel a tinch of redness in your urine that is natural because of purpurin (a chemical constituent present in plant).

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