Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia-radix: Rubiaceae)
is a rich red colored root with a special affinity to the blood, as well as many other Pitta specific regions of the body. It cleanses and improves liver and spleen functions and is unsurpassed for dealing with obstinate skin disorders caused by toxic blood, including eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, herpes, acne, boils, rosacea, hives, athlete’s foot, and scabies. Manjistha combines well with other blood cleansing herbs like neem and turmeric. It also pacifies Kapha, which often plays a secondary role in inflammatory skin conditions, especially swollen, weeping types of eczema or psoriasis.
It cools and moves blood and is useful for Pitta and Kapha related gynecological problems. It has a dual action in that it calms menstrual pain, inflammation, and irritation, and checks profuse menstrual bleeding associated with excess Pitta, while restoring normal flow in the case of uterine congestion from accumulated Kapha.
Manjistha also speeds up the healing of woulds and ulcers. as a hemostatic, it stops bleeding in both the GI and urinary tracts. For knitting broken bones, it combines well with Arjuna or Comfrey leaves.
Its Bhedana(breaking) action helps to remove benign and malignant tumors, dissolve kidney and gallstones, and clear liver and kidney obstructions.
Manjistha helps with mental irritability and is good along side other anti-Pitta herbs that have a strong affinity to the mind and nervous system, such as Skullcap, Shankapushpi, or Gotu Kola to enhance its effect.
Effect on Doshas: V+ PK –
Rasa: bitter, sweet, astringent
Preparations: infusion, decoction, medicated oil, and Ghee, paste.
Dosage: 3-9 g per day
Parts used: roots
Tissues: Plasma, Blood, Muscle, Bone, Reproductive
Properties: Alterative, Hemostatic, Emmenagogue, Diuretic, Anti-inflammatory, Lithotriptic, Antitumor, Vulnerary
Indications: skin disorders, itching, acne, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, endometriosis, menopause, herpes, bleeding disorders, broken bones, kidney or gallstones, hepatitis, jaundice, dysentery, cancer, heart disease, paralysis, dropsy, rickets, chronic wounds, fungal infections, athlete’s foot, ulcers.
Precautions: High Vata (in excess)
Book Ref: Ayurvedic Herbology East & West A practical guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine
by Vishnu Dass
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