Manjishta is one among the prime herbs used in blood, liver and skin detoxification treatments. Its root is extensively used in many skin diseases medicines of Ayurveda. It is known as Indian Madder in English. It is used in many oral Ayurveda medicines and in Ayurveda oils for skin conditions as well.
Botanical name – Rubia cordifolia Linn.
Family – Rubiaceae
Indian madder or Manjeeth is used in textile industry as a natural red coloring agent. It is used in processing arecanut, so as to increase the astringent taste of the betel nut and to increase the shelf life.
Among the skin diseases, Manjishta is highly effective in the treatment of eczema, Tinea infection and dermatitis.
Master Charaka, an ancient Ayurvedic scholar has categorized Manjishta as,
a. Varnya- Group of herbs that improve skin quality, lustre and glow.
b. Jvarahara – herbs that relieve fever
c. Varnya – herbs that are good for skin health
d. Vishaghna – anti toxic, anti-poisonous group of herbs
Master Sushruta has classified it as Pitta balancing group of herbs.
This plant is known for its blood purifying, skin glow enhancing effect, healing properties and to stimulate the liver and spleen. In Chinese medicine also it is used as an anti-toxin herb.
The stem and roots are the used part.
Svarakrut – improves voice – Singers have the habit of chewing a small piece of Manjishta, ahead of their performance. Its herbal decoction or cold infusion (method of preparation, explained below) is added with honey and used for gargling to improve voice.
Varnakrut – improves skin health
Visha – toxic conditions, poisoning – especially insect and rodent bites.
Shotha - inflammatory conditions – Methanolic extracts of Rubia cordifolia is useful in reducing the inflammation.
Yoniruk – gynecological disorders – Manjishta herbal tea is used as vaginal douche to cleanse the cervix and to clear infections.
Karnaruk – ear pain – An herbal oil prepared with this herb is used as ear drops to relieve pain and infection
Akshiruk – eye pain – Because it can balance down Pitta, Manjishta is used orally in treating eye disorders
Raktatisara – Ulcerative colitis– Because of Pitta balancing nature, Manjistha is frequently used orally and also in the form of decoction enema, in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Kushta - skin diseases – Its oil and herbal teas are used externally and orally.
Herpes, non healing wounds associated with diabetes, deep sinuses, fistula, diabetes and urinary tract infections.
Manjishta stem or roots fine powder is rubbed well with water and applied over the skin lesions of pimples and dark spots. It is a natural complexion enhancer. Fresh roots can be used for this purpose. Or fine powder of dry root is added with water to prepare paste.
20-30 gram of coarse powder is soaked in 200-300 ml of water and kept overnight. This is macerated well and consumed early morning. In burning of the body (summer season and in menopausal period), blisters and boils this is very effective. This remedy acts as a coolant drink. In cases of fever, it is administered to reduce the body temperature and burning sensation.
Both these herbs are well known blood purifiers. Their combination if made into decoction and taken it cures several skin diseases very effectively.
Powder– 1 – 3 grams
Kashaya– 20 – 50 ml in divided doses or as directed by Ayurveda doctor
Ayurveda medicines with Manjishta:
There are no known side effects. It can be used in children and lactating mothers in small quantities. Seek medical guidance for its use during pregnancy.
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