Manjistha For Skin, Uses, Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects

Your skin is a mirror image of whatever your body goes through at various levels, physical, mental and emotional. In this article we’ll cover the Ayurvedic herb Manjistha for skin health. Manjistha is known as a blood purifier and lymph mover. As such, Manjistha uses and benefits are numerous. Don’t forget to look over Manjistha benefits, Manjistha dosage, Manjistha side effects and Manjistha contraindications.

Here’s a quick overview of what we will cover in this article.

Manjistha History
Manjistha For Skin
Manjistha Uses
Manjistha Uses: Topical Uses Of Manjistha
Manjistha Uses: Oral Uses Of Manjistha
Manjistha Benefits And Properties
Manjistha Dosages + Manjistha Side Effects
Manjistha Contraindications: Safety + Drug Interaction
Scientific Research On Manjistha

Manjistha History

Manjistha dates back to the Vedic period as described in the Atreya Aranyaka. It has been used as a coloring agent since time immemorial to dye clothes. However ancient Ayurvedic texts emphasized its role in healthcare.

Manjistha is an Ayurvedic herb that is mentioned in the Brihat trayis, the three major texts on Ayurveda. The Brihat trayis includes the Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya by Vagbhata. Charaka categorized it as varnya (one that improves complexion), jvarahara (relieves fever) and vishaghna (removes toxins).1

Ayurvedic scholar Sushruta mentioned it with the Priyanguadi  group of herbs and said it to be pittasamsamana, that which pacifies Pitta dosha.2 Vagbhata also mentioned it with the priyanguadi group of herbs. All the ancient texts delineated it as an herb useful to improve the color and complexion of the skin. It is well known as a rakta shodhak (blood purifier).3

READ MORE: Manjistha Lymph Purifier, Ayurvedic Blood + Toxin Cleanser, 5 Sacred Skincare Rituals For Highly Sensitive People 

Manjistha For Skin

The blood purifying property of manjistha can be attributed to its ability to calm the Pitta dosha. An imbalanced Pitta dosha vitiates the blood and impairs its normal functioning. Just like the rakta dhatu (blood), the Pitta dosha is also instrumental in determining skin features such as color, texture and temperature.

When Pitta dosha becomes aggravated, the excess heat built up inside the body may manifest itself by making your skin reddish, irritable and prone to eruptions. Manjistha, with its sweet, bitter and astringent taste, is an effective Pitta pacifier and supports healthy, younger looking, clean and clear skin.

Manjistha is known to prove effective in dealing with imbalanced Kpha dosha. Accumulation of Kapha dosha can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginess and more. The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance Kapha dosha and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha stagnation which can also manifest as lymph stagnation. Manjistha is thus considered a mover of lymph by many Ayurvedic practitioners.

Manjistha is a perennial creeper and just like a creeper spreads, it has the ability to move throughout the circulatory system and skin. Its vast spreading nature makes it a fantastic cleanser for stubborn and lingering impurities or wastes in the plasma, blood, lymph and the skin.

According to Ayurveda, the lymph (rasa) and blood (rakta) are the first tissues to become congested when the body is not detoxing properly. The bitter taste of Manjistha helps get rid of the natural impurities from the body resulting in a bright and clear complexion.3 It supports proper functioning of the liver and kidneys.6

READ MORE: How To Do Lymphatic Massage (Garshana), Kapha Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Manjistha Uses

Manjistha can be used both internally and externally. The commonly used part of manjistha is its roots. It can be used whole to make teas or tinctures or it can be used in powdered form, or in capsule form as a supplement. Manjistha can be used externally to soothe the skin .Manjistha root powder is used in many Ayurvedic topical formulations, like classical oils to get even-toned, lively skin with glowing complexion.

Let’s have a look at the various ways Manjistha can be used.

Manjistha Uses: Topical Uses Of Manjistha

Traditionally Manjistha powder mixed with honey4 can be applied as a face pack for 10-15 minutes and then washed off with lukewarm water. This promotes clear, glowing skin. Be sure to test a small area of the skin first to see how your skin will react. Do not apply if you feel any redness or itchiness on the test area.

A decoction of Manjistha can be used to wash wounds as it quickens healing. Chronic, non-healing and oozing ulcers particularly heal efficiently with manjistha.4

READ MORE: Jatyadi Ghee (Jatyadi Ghrita): Ayurvedic Topical Wound Healing Formula29 Marma Points For Pain Relief

Manjistha Uses: Oral Uses Of Manjistha

Manjistha is an important ingredient of many Ayurvedic formulations and preparations; Manjistha powder, Mahamanjisthadi kvatha (decoction), Manjistha arka (tincture) and Manjistha phanta (hot infusion) or tea.

Ayurvedic herbs are traditionally used for therapeutic purposes. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India states the following indications for use of Manjistha: Yoni roga (gynaecological disorders), kustha (skin diseases), visarpa (herpes), aksi roga (eye disease), arsha (hemorrhoids), bhagna (fracture), prameha (urinary tract disorder) and vyang (discolorations and blemishes).5

Similarly another revered master of Ayurveda, Acharya Sushruta in his work Sushruta Samhita mentions it under the Priyanguadi group of herbs. Herbs in this group help in wound healing and the union of fractured bones.2

READ MORE: Vaginal Dryness Treatment, Causes, Menopause + Ayurvedic Home Remedies, Yoni Steaming: What Is Yoni Steaming, When To Yoni Steam, Yoni Steaming Contraindications, What Is Netra Basti?

Manjistha Benefits And Properties

The Ayurvedic Materia Medica attributes the following properties to Manjishta.6

Action On Doshas: Kapha Pitta pacifier
External Action: Anti-inflammatory (sothahara), wound healing (vrana ropan), relieves skin diseases (kusthaghna)
Internal Actions: It has a calming effect on the brain and nerves. If taken in large doses it may lead to delusion.
Digestive System: Manjistha kindles the digestive fire (deepan), aids in digestion (pachan), is retentive (stambhan), is deworming (krimighna).
Circulatory System: Blood purifier
Respiratory System: Mitigates Kapha (kaphaghna)
Reproductive System: It increases uterine contractions and induces menstrual flow, detoxes breast milk (stanya shodhan)
Urinary System: Useful in urinary tract disorders (pramehghna)
Skin: Skin diseases

Manjistha is also a febrifuge (antipyretic), complexion enhancer, rejuvenative and anti-toxic.6

READ MORE: How To Breastfeed The Ayurvedic Way, Anti-Inflammatory Beetroot SoupAnti-Inflammatory Blueberry Sauce On Toast

Manjistha Dosage + Manjistha Side Effects

Take only as prescribed by your Ayurvedic practitioner or health care professional. If prescribed, this supplement should be taken twice a day, in the morning and evening, with water. 

Manjistha powder: 1-3 grams
Manjistha decoction: 20-50 ml in divided dosage or advised by your Ayurvedic practitioner
Manjistha capsule: 1-2 capsules twice daily

Manjistha Side Effects

Despite the myriad uses, Manjistha has its side effects as well. It should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation. Consuming it can change the color of urine and stool.

Manjistha Contraindications: Safety + Drug Interaction

  1. It is to be used cautiously with anticoagulants like Warfarin and Coumadin as manjistha has antiplatelet action.7
  2. It is important to note that Manjistha may temporarily turn urine color orange or brown.
  3. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women is not known.
  4. Safety associated with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.

Herbs can heal and nourish if taken in the right quantity, at the right time and according to one’s prakriti (body type). So it is highly recommended that you consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area and find out whether Manjistha is the right herb for you.

Don’t know your Ayurvedic Body Type or Prakriti? Click HERE to take the FREE Quiz >>

Scientific Research On Manjistha

As Ayurveda and other traditional systems of health care are gaining popularity, scientific studies are being conducted at various levels throughout the globe on herbal supplements. These studies are preliminary studies only. They are indicative of further direction in which more extensive research may be undertaken. It will be a matter of a few more years before these results are established and accepted globally. However it is good to have a look at the current research and their findings.

Disclaimer: These research studies are being reproduced here for knowledge purposes only and are in no way endorsed by the author or

Manjistha For Skin Care

  • Anti-Acne property: Methanol extract of Rubia cordifolia inhibits proliferation of P. acne.8
  • It is moderately effective against TNF-alpha and shows low activity against IL-8. It is regarded as astringent and useful in external inflammations like ulcers and skin diseases.9
  • The anthraquinone rich fraction of R. cordifolia in a gel formulation showed the anti-acne activity against Propionibacterium acne, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Malassezia furfur when compared with standard Clindamycin gel.10
  • Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by hyperproliferation and aberrant differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. Ethyl acetate (EA) fraction of Radix Rubiae inhibits cell growth and promotes terminal differentiation in cultured human keratinocytes which strongly suggest its antipsoriatic activity. Evaluation is done by cornified envelope (CE) formation assay showed that EA fraction of Radix Rubiae significantly accentuated the CE formation, a well-recognized marker of terminal differentiation, in cultured HEK and HaCaT cells in a dose and time dependent manner.11

READ MORE: Why You Should Eat Cucumbers (Health Benefits, Recipes, Skincare, Manjistha Tea Benefits, How To Take Manjistha, Side Effects, Ashwagandha Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects + More

1. Agnivesha, Charaka samhita. Commentary: Vidyotini by Kasinatha Sastri and Gorakha Natha Chaturvedi, sutrasthan vol-I, chapter-4, verse no 8, 39, 16, pp- 90, 98, 92.
2. PV. Sharma, Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana with Dalhan’s commentary, english Translation(2013), Chaukhambha Vishwa Bharati,Varanasi, Chapter 38,Pp 362, verse no.47.
3. JLN Shastry, Dravya Guna Vigyan (Vol2)(Study of the essential medicinal plants in ayurveda)2015,Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi, PP-277.
4. K.C Chunekar, Bhavaprakash Nighantu(Indian Materia medica) Of Bhava Mishra(2015), Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi, PP 107-108
5. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, vol-3,Government of India, Ministry of health &Family Welfare, Department of ISM&H, Serial no.52, PP-114.
6. P.V. Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyan, vol-2, 2005, Chaukhambha Bharati academy, varanasi,Pp-801
7. Tripathi YB, Pandey S, Shukla SD. (1993) Anti-platelet activating factor property of Rubia cordifolia Linn. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 31, 533-535.
8. Gorle AM, Patil SS. Evaluation of antioxidant and anti acne property of Rubia cordifolia. Der Pharmacia Sinica. 2010; 1(3): 59-63.
9. Jain A, Bansal E, Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes-induced mediators of inflammation by Indian herbs, Phytomedicine .2003;10: 34–38.
10. Khan N, Karodi R, Siddiqui A, Thube S, Rub R, Development of anti-acne gel formulation of anthraquinones rich fraction from Rubia cordifolia (Rubiaceae), Int. J. Applied Res. Natl. Products. 2012; 4: 28-36.
11. Zhou LL, Lin ZX, Fung KP, Che CT, Zhao M, Cheng CHK, Zuo Z. Ethyl acetate fraction of Radix rubiae inhibits cell growth and promotes terminal differentiation in cultured human keratinocytes. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.2012; 142: 241-247


Ditimoni Goswami, BAMS is an Ayurvedic Practitioner since 2001. She served as Medical Officer (Ayur) for the government of the state of Assam, India from 2005 to 2012. She is certified in Panchakarma Therapy under Guru Shishya Parampara. Her specialization (D.Pch.) is in Panchabhautik Chikitsha. Additionally she is a Pranic healing practitioner, presently working as Ayurvedic Consultant for Transformative Learning Solutions, New Delhi India and


  1. Hi, please can Manjistha shrink or eliminate fibroid. Thank you.

    • mm

      Hi Esi Boakye,
      I would suggest you to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner near you. As Ayurvedic medicine is very individualized and many factors are considered before starting any herb or therapy. Thank you.

  2. mahendra kumar bhati

    i am 38 yrs male ;
    i have melasma on my face since 10yrs
    can i take manjistha tab or
    other medicine please suggest me

    • mm

      Hi Mahendra Kumar Bhati
      It seems you have black patches on your face right? Manjistha helps in skin conditions as it is detoxyfying, a pitta pacifier and blood cleanser. But I still suggest you to visit an Ayurvedic Practitioner near by to rule out the causes and find out if Manjistha is the right herb for your body constitution..Because in Ayurvedic medicine before starting any herbal supplement many things are to be considered like body constitution, dosha imbalance, your diet and lifestyle etc. Moreover a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner near you can determine which herbs are right for you along with right dosage for your condition. Thanks. Hope that helps

  3. Hi. I am taking majistha powder but it’s starts breaking out new pimples on my face why it is?

    • Hi Neha, It sometimes happens in the beginning, it will gradually subside as the aggravated pitta gets pacified and the blood gets cleansed. But , I still suggest you to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner near by to rule out whether Manjistha is the right herb for your body constitution or not.Because in Ayurvedic medicine before starting any herbal supplement many things are to be considered like body constitution, dosha imbalance, your diet and lifestyle etc. Thank you.

  4. Is Manjistha useful in case of vitiligo? There are tons of literature available online that suggest plant therapies such as Nirgundi, Bakuchi etc. Can these be consumed together? If so,please suggest the appropriate dosage.
    Also, is Panchakarma therapy advisable?
    Many thanks!

    • The Ayurveda Experience

      Hi Prerna,
      In order to effectively answer your questions, you’ll need to see a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. They can determine if panchakarma is right for you along with the herbs and dosage required in your particular condition. Good luck!


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