Manjistha Benefits

Latin Name

Rubia cordifolia

Also Known As

Indian Madder, Common Madder


Asia, Europe, Africa

Parts Used


Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Manjistha’s name in Sanskrit translates to “bright red”, alluding to its strong affinity to the blood. An extremely important herb in Ayurveda, Manjistha has been traditionally used as a lymph mover and to revive sluggish blood circulation. It is used to break down blockages and to address stagnation throughout the whole circulatory system of the blood and lymph.

Manjistha Benefits

Lymphatic System / Immune Boosting

The lymphatic system supports the immune system by draining waste and toxins from the body. The primary role of the lymphatic system is to protect the body against harmful external invaders including bacteria, microbial infections and fungus. When the lymph system become sluggish, common symptoms can include; fatigue, exhaustion, poor immunity, sore throat, puffy hands and feet and weight gain.

Known as a powerful lymph cleanser, Manjistha supports the natural function of the lymphatic system, allowing nutrition to feed the cells and wastes to be removed from the body in an optimal fashion.

The Ayurvedic wisdom regarding Manjistha has now been backed up by Western science. In a recent study, it was found to provide powerful liver support when subjects were exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals. One mechanism by which Manjistha was found to do this was by boosting the liver’s production of glutathione. Glutathione is often called the body’s “master antioxidant" - antioxidants play an important role by cleansing and protecting the lymphatic system. Manjistha was also shown in two separate studies to out-perform even the most powerful antioxidants used in clinical settings, such as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and vitamin E.

Skin Health

The blood purifying action of Manjistha contributes to keeping the skin healthy in many ways. Studies have shown it can relieve the itching from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. One study found that eczema sufferers who used an ointment containing Manjistha for 2 weeks saw a significant improvement in the condition. Some participants saw a 50 percent improvement in just 4 days.

Because of its powerful effect on the lymph system, Manjistha is considered one of the best herbs for healthy skin. The abundance of antioxidants in this herb can help to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and give the skin an overall youthful appearance. It is also known to treat “hyperpigmentation” - a condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour, forms deposits in the skin. Manjistha can help to lower melanin levels by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that controls the production on melanin.

The powdered root of Manjistha is effective against the acne causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis, helping to prevent acne or pimple outbreaks. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties work to keep the skin healthy and spot free.

Liver / Kidney Health

Supporting the proper functioning of the body’s most important detox organs, Manjistha can help to rebalance liver enzymes and protect the kidneys from harmful toxins. It contains the phytochemical rubiadin, a compound that is well studied for its hepatoprotective effects.

Toxic overload can result in sluggish kidneys, which in turn can lead to elevated levels of creatinine and urea in the blood. Treatment with extract of Manjistha has been found to restore levels of creatinine and urea back to normal. It has also been found to protect against the formation of painful kidney stones by modulating the excretion of minerals such as calcium, oxalate and phosphorus in the urine. These are the most common crystalline constituents of kidney stones.

Typical Use

Organic Manjistha Tincture

Can be added to water or fruit juice.

Traditionally Taken: Take 2-3 ml 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.

Folklore and History

Manjistha dates back to the Vedic period as described in the "Atreya Aranyaka". It has been used as a colouring agent to dye clothes for millennia. However ancient Ayurvedic texts emphasised its role in healthcare.

The ancient Indian sage and physician, Charaka, classified Manjistha as a "rejuvenative" that acts as a detoxifier. Sushruta, another Ayurvedic sage and surgeon recommended it for balancing the bio-elements or life-energies of the body for good health.


Manjistha root contains quinones including; glycosides includind rubiadin,1-hydroxy,2-methoxy anthraquinone,3-dimethoxy 2 carboxy anthraquinone, rubiprasin A,B,C, ruiearbonls, aborane triterpenoids, mangistin, alizarin, garancin, mollugin and furomollugin.


Not recommended for:

Pregnant or breastfeeding women

Infants or children under 18

Please consult your healthcare professional if you are taking prescription medication, especially blood thinners. 

Manjistha may temporarily turn urine color orange or brown.