Description & Uses : A branched climber with bristles. The stem is slender and four angled. The leaves are rough, and arranged in whorl of four per node and oval to heart shaped with long leaf stalk. The leaves have 5-7 main nerves. The stipules are short living (leafy structures found at the nodal region). The flowers are very small, greenish white and arranged in branched cluster called dichasial cyme(forked flowering stalk, which bears specific number of flowers in each branch). The fruit is round fleshy drupe. When ripe is dark-purple. The roots have brownish red bark and gives red dye.
It can grow to 1.5 m in height. The evergreen leaves are 5–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4-7 starlike around the central stem. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems. The flowers are small (3–5 mm across), with five pale yellow petals, in dense racemes, and appear from June to August, followed by small (4–6 mm diameter) red to black berries. The roots can be over 1 m long, up to 12 mm thick.
Manjishta is a famous herb for blood detoxifying. Is root is extensively used in many skin disease medicines of Ayurveda. It is called as Indian Madder in English. It is used in many oral Ayurvedic medicines and in Ayurvedic oils for skin conditions as well.
Benefits : The plant is used both, internally as well as externally. T
he roots of Manjistha are used for medicinal purpose.
Externally, Manjistha is highly recommended in skin diseases associated with edema and oozing.
The wound and ulcers dressed with Manjistha ghrita heal promptly and get dried up and well cleansed.
Especially the chronic non-healing and cozying wounds respond very will. The Manjistha ointment medicated with Sat dhauta ghrita, is the best panacea for erysipelas.
The burns and scalds heal up magically without scar formatuio, when treated with Manjistha ghrita.
The chronic wounds are washed with the decoction of manjistha and dressed with its rasakriya (solid extract).
In fractures, the external splint of Manjistha, madhuka skin and amalaki leaves is beneficial.
The root powder works well, with ghee, for the medicament of acne. Used externally as a paste by itself or with honey, it heals inflammation and gives the skin an even tone and smoothness.
It is a powerful dye, imparting a reddish tinge to the skin and is used in dying the clothes also. Internally, Manjistha is valuable in a vast range of diseases.
In diarrhea, Manjistha works well when combined with lodhra (Symplicos racemosa) skin powder . Manjistha is benevolent in gastrointestinal ailments like loss of appetite, dyspepsia and worm infestations, as it is an appetizer, digestant, destroys ama and a vermicide.
Manjistha kvatha is widely used as a blood purifier. It acts mainly on rasa and rakta srotasas, alleviates the Kapha and Pitta doshas and eliminates toxins. This ameliorates the vitiation of bhrajaka pitta (pitta from the skin) and imparts better complexion to the skin.
Manjistha was held in high esteem by ancient sages in the treatment of skin diseases. It is widely used, till today, in various skin disorders like erysipelas, eczema, acne, scabies and allergic manifestations.
Manjistha helps in controlling the irritation of nerves and pacifies the mind, hence salutary in epilepsy, especially of Pitta type. The decoction of manjistha, triphala, daruharidra, guduci, katuka, nimba and vaca is used in gout with benefit.