Manjistha is a climbing plant with woody stems and heart-shaped leaves.
It produces small, greenish-white flowers that are arranged in clusters.
The roots of Manjistha are the primary part of the plant used for medicinal purposes.
The roots contain a red dye called “alizarin,” which gives Manjistha its characteristic red color.
Manjistha contains various bioactive compounds, including glycosides, anthraquinones (such as alizarin), tannins, and flavonoids.
The red color of Manjistha root is due to the presence of alizarin and purpurin.
Rasa (Taste): Manjistha is described as having a bitter and astringent taste in Ayurveda.
Virya (Potency): It is considered to have a cooling or calming potency (sheeta virya), making it beneficial for conditions associated with excess heat in the body.
Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste): The post-digestive taste of Manjistha is pungent (katu).
Dosha (Balancing Effects): Manjistha is primarily known for its ability to balance and pacify Pitta dosha. It can also help balance Kapha dosha to some extent.
Blood Purifier: Manjistha is often referred to as a “blood purifier” in Ayurveda. It is believed to help cleanse and detoxify the blood, removing impurities and toxins. It may support overall skin health by addressing issues like acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Anti-inflammatory: Manjistha is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties and is used to manage inflammatory conditions in Ayurveda.
Urinary Health: It is sometimes used to support urinary tract health and help with conditions like urinary tract infections.
Anti-oxidant: Manjistha’s flavonoids and other compounds are thought to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect cells from oxidative stress.
Joint Health: In Ayurveda, Manjistha is also used to address joint pain and inflammation, making it potentially beneficial for conditions like arthritis.
Menstrual Health: Some traditional uses of Manjistha involve supporting women’s health, including regulating the menstrual cycle and managing conditions like menstrual irregularities and menopausal symptoms.
Liver Health: It is believed to have hepatoprotective properties and may help in maintaining liver health.