Manjistha: Lymph Purifier, Ayurvedic Blood + Toxin Cleanser

Manjistha, commonly known as Indian Madder, is one of Ayurveda’s most popular blood purifiers. Manjistha is used to purify the lymph and support the liver. Being a blood purifier, it brightens the complexion of the body.1

The very meaning of the term ‘Manjistha’ is literally ‘bright red’. It’s been used traditionally as a coloring agent in medicinal oils for many years. The powder of the root serves as a natural dyeing agent in many Asian countries.

Natural Easter eggs, anyone?

Now that we have a little background on Manjistha, let’s get into what we’re here for, Manjistha as a lymph purifier. Here’s what you’ll learn in this article.

Recognizing Manjistha + It’s Notable Benefits
Characteristics Of Manjistha Or Rasapanchaka (Pharmacodynamics)
How Manjistha Works
How The Lymphatic System Works: An Ayurvedic Overview
15 Common Symptoms Of Lymphatic Congestion
Manjistha: Lymph Cleanser
How A Detox Crisis Occurs
Lymph Movers
What Science Has To Say

Recognizing Manjistha + It’s Notable Benefits

Known as Manjistha in Sanskrit, this herb is a creeper, with beautiful deep green heart shaped leaves and blood red sap. It is scientifically known as Rubia (red) cordifolia, demonstrating its affinity to the heart and the circulatory system. It is a perennial that grows on the western side of the Himalayas and other mountainous regions.2

Respected Ayurvedic practitioner Vaidya R.K Mishra of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda describes Manjistha as that which cleans without creating any ‘detox crisis’.

He also says that Manjistha, although a physical herb that removes physical toxins, has a vibrational energy which helps to reestablish the vibrational intelligence of the tissues.

In fact, another name given to this herb in Sanskrit is ‘Jingi’ or, that which has lots of vibrational energy.3 Tissues damaged by endogenous or exogenous toxins may benefit from Manistha.

READ MORE: Guduchi Powder, Benefits, Side Effects, Contraindications + More, Ashwagandha Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects + More

PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “Massaging with this oil helps with acne and moles. It clears the face (evens the skin tone) and eases the appearance of wrinkles. Massaged for seven consecutive nights, it makes the face glow like gold!”

Check out our own iYura Manjish Glow Elixir, a complexion enhancing, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting anti-microbial pink oil.

Characteristics Of Manjistha Or Rasapanchaka (Pharmacodynamics)

Rasa (taste): Kashaya (astringent), Tikta (bitter), Madhura (sweet)
Guna (properties): Guru (heavy)
Virya (potency): Hot
Vipaka (post digestive effects): Katu (pungent)
Action On Dosha: Pacifies primarily Pitta and also Kapha
Dhatu (body tissue): Plasma, blood
Srota (channel): Rasavaha and Raktavaha (circulatory channels), Aartavaha (female reproductive channels)4

How Manjistha Works

Manjistha possesses three tastes, madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent). It is heavy (guru) in nature, which gives it an earthy essence or soma property. It has a pungent post digestive effect and is hot in potency, which makes it fiery or heating (agneya) at the same time. This unique quality of Manjistha, having the two contrasting properties of soma (cooling) and agni (heating) is quite rare in Ayurvedic plants.

By virtue of the three rasa (tastes) it pacifies Pitta and is used in diseases caused by an imbalance of Pitta and rakta (blood tissue). By its ushna (heating) potency, it has the ability to penetrate deeper into the tissue level and bind and safely remove ama and amavisha (endogenous toxins) and garavisha (xenobiotics or exogenous toxins), formed due to imbalanced pitta and environmental toxins. It does this without aggravating Pitta and heals the damage caused due to the accumulation of toxins.

READ MORE: Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know, 25 Snack Foods For Pitta Dosha

PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “Massaging with this oil helps with acne and moles. It clears the face (evens the skin tone) and eases the appearance of wrinkles. Massaged for seven consecutive nights, it makes the face glow like gold!”

Check out our own iYura Manjish Glow Elixir, a complexion enhancing, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting anti-microbial pink oil.

The guru (heavy) property and madhura (sweet) rasa of Manjistha, which are the soma-rich properties of the herb, allow it to soak up the toxins and neutralize them.

In the revered Ayurvedic text ‘Charak Samhita’, Manjistha is considered vishagna. That  means, it is able to bind free radicals (amavisha) or endogenous toxins and xenobiotic (garavisha) exogenous toxins which cause inflammation (shotha), fever (jvara), skin disease (kushta), ulcers (vrana) and other problems.5

It is similarly described in the ancient Ayurvedic text, ‘Bhava Prakash’. The best aspect of Manjistha according to respected Vaidya Mishra, is that it can pacify the reactivity of toxins in the body while supporting detoxification.

Manjistha is revered mostly for its cleansing property.

READ MORE: Detox Dal: Ayurvedic Winter Soup For Cleansing

How The Lymphatic System Works: An Ayurvedic Overview

It is common knowledge that your immune system acts as your defense mechanism in warding off diseases and keeping you healthy.

The Lymphatic system supports your immune system. It acts as a drainage system in your body and helps defend your body against infections. The lymphatic system drains waste from your body and controls and regulates your immune system.

Ayurveda has linked the lymphatic system (Rasa vaha srotas) to optimal health and longevity for thousands of years. The importance of detoxifying it has also been discussed.

Rasa means juice, and that is exactly what Rasa vaha srotas is, the juice of life. Rasa dhatu is the first tissue to be formed after proper digestion, and all the rest of the dhatus or body tissues are nourished by the healthy Rasa dhatu. Rasa vaha srotas is the channel that carries the Rasa dhatu.

This system includes the lymphatic system and the plasma which helps with absorption of fats and minerals.

The largest drainage system in your body is the lymphatic system. It acts like the drainage system in your house. If the drains are clogged in your sink or toilet, what do you do? You clean the drains.

The lymphatic system is an extensive network of channels spread throughout the body. It drains excess lymph from the surrounding tissues. The lymph is a clear fluid loaded with glucose, salt, proteins, molecules and more. It tends to leak out of the blood vessels and enter the surrounding body tissues. In the absence of a lymphatic system, this extra amount of fluid would accumulate in the body tissues and eventually lead to swelling or blockages.

It is very important for the lymphatic system (Rasa vaha srota) to function well and healthy. However over time the lymph vessels can become clogged with protein deposits. Their normal functioning may get hindered due to infection, stress, deadlines, fatigue, dehydration, improper food habits and lifestyle or simply a lack of physical activity. This leads to inefficient functioning of the agni (metabolism) resulting in ama (toxin) formation. As toxins accumulate, the lymphatic system becomes sluggish and cannot perform at its efficient best. This in turn gives rise to health complications due to lymphatic congestion.

READ MORE: How To Do Lymphatic Massage (Garshana), 29 Marma Points For Pain Relief, Marma Points For Indigestion And Metabolism

PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “Massaging with this oil helps with acne and moles. It clears the face (evens the skin tone) and eases the appearance of wrinkles. Massaged for seven consecutive nights, it makes the face glow like gold!”

Check out our own iYura Manjish Glow Elixir, a complexion enhancing, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting anti-microbial pink oil.

15 Common Symptoms Of Lymphatic Congestion

  1. Rings on your fingers are tight.
  2. Soreness and /or stiffness in the morning.
  3. Feeling tired.
  4. Bloating or water retention.
  5. Mild rash or skin irritation.
  6. Weight gain and extra belly fat.
  7. Brain fog.
  8. Breast swelling or soreness with each menstrual cycle.
  9. Dry skin.
  10. Hypersensitivity.
  11. Mild headaches.
  12. Elevated histamine reactions to environmental irritants.
  13. Acne or skin breakouts.
  14. Mood swings and lack of vitality
  15. Occasional diarrhea, constipation and mucus in the stool.

If proper measures are not taken the lymphatic system can remain clogged for many years leading to serious health complications.

Ayurveda emphasizes cleaning the drains or channels first.

READ MORE: Ayurvedic Massage: Everything You Need To Know About Abhyanga14 Proven Scientific Benefits Of Ayurvedic Massage, with references (Abhyanga Benefits)

PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “Massaging with this oil helps with acne and moles. It clears the face (evens the skin tone) and eases the appearance of wrinkles. Massaged for seven consecutive nights, it makes the face glow like gold!”

Check out our own iYura Manjish Glow Elixir, a complexion enhancing, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting anti-microbial pink oil.

Manjistha Lymph Cleanser

Cleaning your lymphatic system periodically is one way of preventing these common symptoms. And in Ayurveda, Manjistha is considered to be one of the best cleansing and purifying herbs. Manjistha is known to prove effective in dealing with imbalanced Kapha dosha, which can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginess and more.

The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance the Kapha dosha and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha stagnation.

READ MORE: Kapha Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Kapha Pacifying Date Pickle Recipe

If you are facing any of the symptoms of lymph congestion mentioned above, spring is the right time to get rid of it. Spring is also the right time to detox the body of the buildup that happens in winter. Manjistha is a great right herb to detox and purify your system.

As already mentioned above, Manjistha has an earthy essence by virtue of its guru (heavy) property and madhura (sweet) rasa which are the cooling (soma-rich) properties of the herb. These properties allow it to soak up the toxins and neutralize them. At the same time, it helps bind the toxins together before pushing them out of the body. Manjistha thus cleans the channels without creating a ‘detox crisis’ as explained by Vaidya Mishra. It is unlike other strong detoxifying herbs like neem or turmeric.

READ MORE: Neem, Ayurveda’s Favorite Remedy For Inflammation, Heal With Haldi: Turmeric Milk RecipeThe Ultimate Ayurvedic Seasonal Guide To Spring

How A Detox Crisis Occurs

A detox crisis results when toxins come out of the liver or other tissues faster than they can be removed by the body.

When reactive toxins float freely in tissues such as the blood and muscle, this can result in damage to the channels, as well as inflammation and autoimmune flare-ups.

The cause may be trying to detoxify the liver or other organs too fast, causing a reabsorption of toxins into the blood. It may also be due to the practice of poor diet and lifestyle over the years which result in blocked channels or poor emotional balance.

Whatever the cause, when highly reactive toxins (visha) overflow the protective bounds of the liver and move into the blood and other tissues, autoimmune reactions such as psoriasis (kushta), inflammation (shotha), ulcers (vrana) and other symptoms may appear, according to Ayurveda.6

Before choosing any detox program, be sure that the detoxifying herb or formula is not creating stagnation in the detoxifying channels of the body (the lymphatic system).

Detoxification leading to congestion in the lymphatics is the main cause of a detox crisis or detox reactions, which could be avoided if the right therapeutics are chosen.

READ MORE: 37 Tips To Fight Inflammation Caused By Pitta Dosha

PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “Massaging with this oil helps with acne and moles. It clears the face (evens the skin tone) and eases the appearance of wrinkles. Massaged for seven consecutive nights, it makes the face glow like gold!”

Check out our own iYura Manjish Glow Elixir, a complexion enhancing, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting anti-microbial pink oil.

Lymph Movers

All red staining food are said to be great lymph movers. Beetroot, cherries and pomegranate are good examples. Manjistha, meaning bright red, is a great lymph mover or lymph destagnater, as mentioned by Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa.com.

According to Vaidya Mishra of Vaidya Mishra family tradition, Manjistha is an excellent herb for assistive detoxification. Unlike other stronger detoxifying herbs which dislodge toxins from deeper tissue levels but do not completely remove them from the body, Manjistha provides a way to safely remove those toxins once they get into the blood and the muscles. A clean and and clear lymphatic system supports a healthy immune system.

READ MORE: Anti-Inflammtory Pear And Pomegranate Salad, Vata Pitta Pacifying Beetroot And Carrot Soup

What Science Has To Say

  1. A study was conducted to evaluate the in vivo antioxidant activity of the ethanolic extract of the roots of Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) to study its influence on lead nitrate-induced impairment of immune responses. Manjistha showed healthy immune function in the lymph and blood while also protecting against lead toxicity.7

  2. The hepatoprotective effects of rubiadin, a major constituent isolated from Rubia cordifolia Linn., were evaluated against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic damage in rats. Rubiadin at a dose of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg was administered orally once daily for 14 days.

The substantially elevated serum enzymatic activities of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), serum alkaline phosphatase (SALP) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-GT) due to carbon tetrachloride treatment were dose dependently restored towards normalization.

Meanwhile, the decreased activities of glutathione S-transferase and glutathione reductase were also restored towards normalization. In addition, rubiadin also significantly prevented the elevation of hepatic malondialdehyde formation and depletion of reduced glutathione content in the liver of CCl4 intoxicated rats in a dose dependent manner.

Silymarin used as standard reference also exhibited significant hepatoprotective activity on post treatment against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The biochemical observations were supplemented with histopathological examination of rat liver sections.

The results of this study strongly indicate that rubiadin has a potent hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic damage in rats.8

  1. Rubiadin, a dihydroxy anthraquinone, isolated from alcoholic extract of Rubia cordifolia, possesses potent antioxidant properties. It prevents lipid peroxidation induced by FeSO4 and t-butylhydroperoxide (t-BHP) in a dose dependent manner.

The per cent inhibition was more in the case of Fe2+ induced lipid peroxidation. The antioxidant property of the preparation has been found to be better than that of EDTA, Tris, mannitol, Vitamin E and p-benzoquinone.9

References
1 K.C. Chunekar, Indian Materia Medica/ Bhava prakash Nighantu (2015), Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi, Pp 107.
2 Gogaòte VM. Ayurvedic pharmacology and therapeutic uses of medicinal plants (Dravyaguna Vigyan). 1st Eng. ed. Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; 2000.
3 S V Ayurveda, From Sutra to Science Https://www.svayurveda.com/product/manjistha-learn-about-a-famous-herb-for-auto-immune-toxins/.
4 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, vol-3, Government of India, Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare, Department of ISM&H, Serial no.52, PP-112.
5 Agnivesa, Charaka Samhita. Commentary: Vidyotini by Kasinatha Sastri and Gorakha Natha Chaturvedi, sutrasthan vol-I, chapter-4, verse no 16. Chaukhambha
Bharati Academy Varanasi; 2011:83.
6 Mishra, Vaidya. “Manjistha – Learn About A Famous Herb For Auto-Immune Toxins.” Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda, SVAyurveda, www.svayurveda.com/product/manjistha-learn-about-a-famous-herb-for-auto-immune-toxins.
7 Lodi, Shweta, et al. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Medknow Publications, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153710/.
8 Mohana Rao, Guntapalli, et al. “Hepatoprotective Effects of Rubiadin, a Major Constituent of Rubia Cordifolia Linn.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Elsevier, 5 Oct. 2005, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874105005507?via%3Dihub.
9 Tripathi, Y B, et al. “Rubiadin, a New Antioxidant from Rubia Cordifolia.” Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 1997, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9425750.

mm
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 TheAyurvedaExperience.com.

2 comments

  1. mm

    Thank you Sophie. Glad you liked the article. I still suggest you should consult an ayurvedic consultant before starting any herbal supplement. Thanks once again

  2. This article is great.
    I’m going to try this and see what’s the result.

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.