Manjistha which goes by the scientific name Rubia cordifolia is a type of flowering plant from the coffee family Rubiaceae. Manjistha is an herbaceous branched climber or creeper of evergreen origin that grows up to 10 m. It has thick, long, cylindrical, bark which is red in colour and long, slender, quadrangular stems that are sometimes prickly or glabrous. It is native to North Africa, Siberia, Greece, Manchuria, China, Japan, India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sikkim, Tibet and Nepal. In the Indian subcontinent, this herb is known as Majith, Manjit, Munjistha, Munjeet, Lachkura, Malo, Mamjith, Manjistha, Munjeet among other names. Ayurveda knows this plant by the several Sanskrit terminologies including Aruna, Bhandiri, Chitrangi, Gauri, Harini, Hemapushpi, Janani, Jingi, Jvarahantri, Kala, Kala meshika, Kalabhandika, Kandira, Kshetrini, Latayashti, Lohitika, Raktanga, Raktayashti, Rasayani, etc.
This incredible herb shows the presence of bio active constituents like purpurin, munjistin, xanthopurpurin, pseudopurpurin and glycosides like rubiadin, rubiprasin A,B,C, ruiearbonls, aborane triterpenoids, mangistin, 1-hydroxy 2-methoxy anthraquinone, 3-dimethoxy 2 carboxy anthraquinone, alizarin, garancin, mollugin and furomollugin. Enriched with these phyto-chemical components, Manjistha portrays potent hepatoprotective, anti-splenomegaly, anti-hepatomegaly, cholagogue, anti- pyretic, spleno-protective, detoxifying, febrifuge, digestive, anti-inflammatory, broncho-dilatory, pain-relieving, anti-microbial properties. And eventually these properties extensively help in providing relief from jaundice, liver infections, skin conditions including pimple, eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, fever, allergy, asthma, blood infections, and rheumatoid arthritis.