How This Helps

Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is perhaps best known as a lymph mover and blood purifier. According to Ayurveda, when the body isn't detoxifying properly, the lymph and blood would be the primary tissues that become congested. A cascading effect follows through other systems of the body unless the congestion is treated.

Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)

Manjishtha is an ayurvedic herb, famous for its blood purifying property. The vine grows in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of the world. The leaves have a deep green color. The herb has been traditionally used as a coloring agent in many treated oils, and the root powder acts as a natural dying representative in several Asian nations, imparting colors of crimson, scarlet, brown, and mauve to cotton and other fabrics. This herb is known in Ayurveda to pacify the Pitta dosha and eliminate the Kapha stagnation. 

This ayurvedic herb has been used for potentially treating various disorders. Its various chemical constituents like munjistin, purpurin, xanthopurpurin, and pseudopurpurin have proved its benefits in promoting good health and well being of an individual.

Ayurveda states that purification of the blood is a very important factor in combating various disorders. As blood does not only carry fresh oxygen and nutrients to the body organs and tissues, but impure blood can carry toxins as well as leading to health-related problems. Manjistha is an ayurvedic herb that can help to cool down and detoxify the blood and help remove the stagnant blood from the body. This purification action helps in diseases like arthritis, skin disorders, menstrual cycle-related issues, urinary infections, blood pressure, and dental issues. It also possesses strong astringent and antioxidant properties. This herb can also serve for both internal and external use and when combined with other ayurvedic herbs can treat various other diseases.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification

Manjistha health benefits

Manjistha, also known by names like Indian madder, Rubia cordifolia, is a herb known for its use in a wide range of herbal formulations as well as cosmetic preparations. 

This vine-like plant flows through the body, acting most powerfully on the arterial system, the circulatory system, and the epidermis. Its name literally means "bright red" due to its red roots. According to Ayurveda, this characteristic would imply a strong affinity to the lymph-moving and cleansing properties of this plant.

Manjistha calms an aggravated Pitta and clears congested Kapha. Many pitta-aggravated imbalances within the body, particularly those of the blood, might be supported by Manjistha. Almost every part of this plant like the stems, roots, shoots and red bark is extensively used in many remedies.some of its benefits are mentioned below:

1. Purifying Blood:

Manjishtha benefits are many, but it has been traditionally used for blood purifying properties. Manjistha can cleanse the blood by removing all the toxins. Thus, purified blood, in turn, gives beautiful skin, a healthy body, and hair.

2. Benefits in the treatment of skin disorders:

Manjistha is known for producing beneficial effects in treating a variety of skin disorders. Due to its impact on lymph, Manjistha is regarded as among the best herbs for skin. It's a great rejuvenating herb for the skin complexion.

Anti-acne- The anti-acne effect is produced by anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-androgen, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Psoriasis - Psoriasis is a type of skin disorder that is characterized by hyperproliferation of epidermal keratinocytes and their aberrant differentiation. 4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid (DHNA), an active constituent of Manjistha, is known to inhibit keratinocyte hyperproliferation through the G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. It also inhibits granulocyte function and may exert an immunosuppressive effect. 

It also helps cure various other skin diseases like eczema, dermatitis, and in the treatment of herpes by inhibiting the growth of herpes simplex virus.1, 3.

3. Benefits in the reduction of Menstrual Pain:

Every month a woman suffers from a painful period, where the endothelium of the uterus becomes inflamed, causing period cramps. Because many menstrual problems are due to congested lymph, Manjistha offers excellent support for the female reproductive system, particularly during the child-birthing decades.

Manjistha, through its anti-inflammatory properties, reduces the inflammation and pain and thus relieves from period cramps.2.

4. Benefits in the destruction of tumors:

Manjistha has proved its benefits in treating both malignant and benign types of tumors. The hexapeptides present as the constituent of Manjistha exerts very potent antitumor activity. The extracts of Manjistha inhibit and stop the synthesis of proteins. Proteins are considered as building blocks of cells, Manjistha inhibits aminoacyl- tRNA binding and peptidyl – tRNA translocation, during protein synthesis and thus inhibits the abnormal growth of cancer cells.

Studies have found the methanolic extract of Rubia cordifolia can induce apoptosis of cancer cells by increasing the generation of reactive oxygen species. Manjistha Inhibits cell proliferation in a time and dose-dependent manner. 

Alizarin, a constituent derived from roots of Rubia cordifolia, is a potential osteotropic drug. The Antitumor activity of alizarin inhibits cell growth over time in a dose-dependent manner. Studies have suggested that the extracts are capable of inhibiting ERK phosphorylation and promotes cell cycle arrest in the S Phase. 4.

5. Benefits in Lymphatic System / Immune Boosting:

The function of the lymphatic system is to support the immune system of an individual by draining the toxic waste out of the body. When the lymphatic system of an individual is altered, it may cause poor immunity, fatigue, sore throat, puffy hands, exhaustion, and swollen feet, and weight gain. Manjistha has powerful Pitta and Kapha pacifying activities, which may aggravate Vata if not used sensibly or with other more balancing herbs. It contains sweet and astringent tastes (rasa), but the sour taste is quite powerful and predominant. The pungent post-digestive impact allows Manjistha to break down blockages and stagnation within the lymph and blood flow. The detoxification process breaks down and burns the toxins away (ama).

Ayurveda places great importance on maintaining lymph flowing smoothly. Lymph is the key to the immune system also has a deep influence on the healthy appearance and function of the skin (as skin is the body's largest detoxifying organ).

Manjistha is a long known Ayurvedic medicine that has been traditionally used for reducing the toxic load carried by the body. The active constituents of this herb are known to cleanse the liver and purify the whole lymphatic system. Thus, it increases the efficiency of the lymphatic system to fight several diseases by boosting immunity. 4.

 

6. Benefits in the maintenance of liver& kidney health:

Kidneys are part of the excretory system. It regulates the excretion of waste material by filtering it out from the body. When the kidneys become congested due to its inability to filter out certain wastes, then it may lead to many problems. Toxic overload over the kidneys and liver can result in sluggish kidneys. The inability of the kidneys to filter out waste from the body can raise the levels of creatinine and urea in the blood, causing the formation of painful kidney stones. Manjistha, an ayurvedic remedy, can help rebalance the health of kidneys by detoxifying the kidneys from the harmful toxins. The active constituents of Manjistha hold the potential to restore the levels of creatinine and urea to the normal stage. Thus it can protect against the formation of painful kidney stones by increasing the excretion of minerals such as oxalate, calcium, and phosphorus through the urine.5,6 

7. Benefits against inflammation:

The active constituents of Manjistha are known to produce an anti-inflammatory effect. Iridoids present in Manjistha are known to act against the process of inflammation by inhibiting the lipoxygenase enzyme pathway and the production of cumene hydroperoxides. Manjistha, through its anti-inflammatory property, is known to be beneficial in treating diseases like asthma and arthritis. The lipoxygenase pathway catalyzes the production of various inflammatory mediators such as the leukotrienes, Tumour necrosis factor, and interleukins, and Manjistha acts by inhibiting this pathway. 5,6,8

8. Benefits as a hepatoprotective agent:

The hepatoprotective activities of Manjishtha are attributed to its rubiadin (‎C15H10O4) content. Rubiadin is known to protect liver and liver cell damage by lowering the SGOT and SGPT levels. Manjistha through its anti-oxidative effects significantly reduces the hepatic malondialdehyde formation and also reduces the depletion of reduced content of glutathione in the liver.5,6

9. Neuroprotective effect of Manjistha

Ethanolic extract of Rubia cordifolia has shown neuroprotective effects in numerous studies conducted on human beings and animals. The extract has shown to reduce the formation of β-amyloid plaques, which induced cognitive and memory dysfunction. It also protects the neurons in dementia by inhibiting the MAO, AChE, and by scavenging the oxidative free radicals. Thus, it helps decrease neurodegeneration and improves memory retention activity.7.

10. Anti-ulcer 

Ulcers can damage the lining of the digestive tract by increasing the acidic secretion. The anti-ulcer effect is attributed to a decrease in gastric acid secretion while strengthening the mucosal barrier. It also exerts a defensive mechanism by prostaglandin synthesis and antioxidant potential. Manjishtha has also shown healing properties on the tissues which become damaged due to acid. It is also effective in treating wounds that are damaged by an injury.

Manjistha is a well known ayurvedic Rasayana medicine that is used for rejuvenating purposes. According to Ayurveda, this herb pacifies issues related to pitta dosha by pacifying it. Numerous studies conducted have shown its beneficial properties in treating a variety of diseases. However, further clinical research needs to be carried out on a large population to understand its effect.9.


See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Skin Disorders

Manjistha side effects

Despite its many amazing benefits, Manjistha may create some unwanted side effects as well. Manjistha shouldn't be taken during pregnancy and lactation. As with beetroots, consuming Manjistha may change your urine and feces color.


- Use this herb carefully with anticoagulants like Coumadin or Warfarin as Manjistha has anti-platelet action.

- Manjistha may temporarily turn urine color orange or brownish.

-Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women isn't known. Safety for severe liver or kidney disease isn't known.

As with all herbal formulations, it's best to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner and your doctor prior to starting any herbal or Ayurvedic treatment.

See: Amla Health Benefits & Side Effects

References

1. Verma, Anuradha & Kumar, Babita & Alam, Perwaiz & Singh, Vijendra & Gupta, Shiv Kumar. (2016). RUBIA CORDIFOLIA – A REVIEW ON PHARMACOGNOSY AND PHYTOCHEMISTRY. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 7. 2720-2731. 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.7(7).2720-31. 

2. Patil, Rupali & Mohan, Mahalaxmi & Kasture, Veena & Kasture, Sanjay. (2009). Rubia cordifolia: a review. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine. 9. 1-13. 10.3742/OPEM.2009.9.1.001. 

3. Chaudhary, Anand & Meena, Vandana. (2015). Manjistha(Rubia Cordifolia)- A helping herb in the cure of acne. Journal of Ayurveda & Holistic Medicine. III. 11-17. 

4. Bhatt, Pankaj & Kushwah, Ajay. (2013). Rubia cordifolia Overview: A New Approach to Treat Cardiac Disorders. International Journal of Drug Development and Research. 5. 47-54. 

5. Babita, M.H. & Chhaya, G. & Goldee, P.. (2007). Hepatoprotective activity of Rubia cordifolia. 3. 73-79. 

6. E, Dr. (2018). A Complete Review on Rubia Cordifolia. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development. Volume-2. 1161-1170. 10.31142/ijtsrd9616. 

7. Chitra V, Pavan KK. Neuroprotective studies of Rubiacordifolia Linn. on beta-amyloid-induced cognitive dysfunction in mice. Int J Pharm Tech Res. 2009; 1(4): 1000-1009.

8. Chandrashekar, BS & Prabhakara, S & Mohan, T & Shabeer, D & Bhandare, Basavaraj & Nalini, M & Sharmila, PS & Meghana, DL & Reddy, BasanthKumar & Rao, HM & Hire, Sahajananda & Kolandaswamy, Anbazhagan. (2018). Characterization of Rubia cordifolia L. root extract and its evaluation of cardioprotective effect in the Wistar rat model. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 50. 12. 10.4103/ijp.IJP_418_17. 

9. Ojha JK, Dwivedi KN, Chaurasiya AK. Effect of Rubia Cordifolia on non-healing diabetic foot ulcers. Nat. Sem. Trad. Med. Plants in Skin Care, CIMAP, Lucknow, 1994, pp 17.

See: How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

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