Indian madder (E), Manjith (H):
Manjishtha is a perennial climber and like a vine it 'spreads' throughout the whole system, especially working on the arterial, circulatory system and skin. It literally means 'bright red' attesting to its red roots, which have an affinity for the blood; the red pigment can be seen in the urine.
Skin Its affinity for raktadhatu is specifically utilised to clean, cool and clear the blood of all excess pitta, heat, inflammation, visha (toxins) and ama. Used for itching in eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, vitiligo, acne, acne rosacea and herpes (kustha, visarpa). It normalises rakta dhatu agni. A favourite herb to help relieve pruritus when the liver and bhrajaka pitta are aggravated. Its circulatory invigorating properties make it a superb remedy for removing stubborn and chronic lesions. Also used in scabies and tinea pedis. It also benefits these conditions when used as a wash or in a cream. It is a wonderful rejuvenative to the complexion. Bleeding Manjishtha stops bleeding by two methods; cooling the 'heat' that causes blood to burst out of its proper channel, and clearing congested blood that can cause blood to overflow out of its appropriate pathway. Very good in raktatisara and diarrhoea with bleeding, Crohn's disease, dysentery, bleeding ulcers. It can also treat haemoptysis, epistaxis, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia and haematuria in the appropriate pattern. It acts as a vulnerary and hastens the healing time of skin trauma and broken bones. Gynaecology Useful in signs of congested uterus and pain (yonis´ula) with dysmenorrhoea fixed pain, clots, amenorrhoea and endometriosis; use a cold infusion. All menstrual imbalances involving aggravations of pitta and kapha disturbing the artavasrotas. Also used to prevent miscarriage and excessive uterine bleeding. Tumours/accumulations Manjishtha breaks accumulations of kapha in the bladder, liver and kidneys. Urine Its pitta-reducing quality helps to clear pittaja prameha, particular types of diabetes involving repeated infections, boils, inflammatory conditions, neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy. Also for manjishtha prameha where the excessive urination is also coloured red. It is also a specific for gradually dissolving kidney and bladder stones as the anthraquinones act as chelating agents helping to draw excess calcium from the system. Also used to stop haematuria (Frawley & Lad 1994, Mills & Bone 2000, Paranjpe 2001). Mind Its cooling effect on sadhaka pitta has a balancing effect on the emotions and is used in epilepsy and agitation with high pitta.