Manjishtha or majith is generally known to layman as a coloring agent or as a blood purifier. Found throughout in hilly areas in India manjishtha or majith is also cultivated at various places. Also known as lohitlata, majith, vastra ranajani, jingi, yojanvalli, samanga, majeetha or majitha is a member of family rubiaceae. Known botanically as Rubia cordiafolia, manjishtha or majith’s antecedence dates back to Vedic era. It is mentioned in texts that while going to start education or going for upnayan sanskar students were supposed to wear clothes colored with manjishtha. Perennial, herbaceous, climbing plant with rough, grooved and long stemmed Manjishtha has to its credit many medicinal properties.
Manjishtha in Ayurvedic texts
Ancient texts of Ayurveda including Charak and Sushruta have mentioned use of manjishtha in various formulations. Besides, description of manjishtha or majith is available in Dhanwantri nighantu, Shodal nightanu, Kaye dev nighantu, Raj nighantu and Bhav prakash nighantu. Tamar valli name too has been used for manjishtha in Charak and Sushruta samhita. Labeled as anti pyretic by Charak and piita pacifier by Sushruta , manjistha or majith is endowed with the unique role in improving complexion and color of skin.
Uses of Manjishtha
Ayurvedic texts hold it as sweet, bitter, astringent, hot in effect, useful in bleeding diarrhea, improves voice, complexion, heavy in digestion, pacifies poison, kapha, edema, gynecological diseases, eye diseases, ear diseases, skin diseases, blood disorders, erysipelas, abscess and diabetes. Leaves of manjishtha are sweet, light, and unctuous and pacify vata and pitta. Fruit of manjistha or majith are useful in enlarged spleen.
Benefits of Manjishtha
Manjishtha or majith is nourishing, regulates menstruation, pacifies edema, skin diseases, heals abscess, useful in contraction of uterus. Manjishtha acts on brain and tissues of bone marrow. Low dose makes the mind calm while its use in excess causes abnormality in brain. It helps to make smooth flow of menstrual blood. It makes complexion of skin clear. Decoction of manjishtha is useful for women after delivery. Its role in curing various skin diseases is well known. It acts as blood purifier. Manjistha is used with laxative for promoting skin complexion. Ancient texts hold its utility in snakes and scorpion poison.
Formulations of Manjishtha
Mnajisthyaadi qwath, manjishthyadi arishta ,majishtyadi arka, pind tel, manjishtyadi powder aresome of the preparation that are used frequently and are available in the market . In market we come across samples of manjishtha in the form of roots and stem. It is believed in some books that its root is more useful. Manjishtha powder is also used as facepack or ubtan.
‘Researches have proved anti bacterial , anti tumor, blood purification, activity. Manjishtha is reported to be used as an adulterant for the Swertia chiraita.