Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)


Rubia cordifolia L. (RC) is a valuable medicinal plant in Ayurvedic system owing to its multiple pharmacological properties and often referred as common Madder or Indian Madder in the coffee family Rubiaceae.

RC exhibits several beneficiary roles such as:

  • antioxidant,
  • potent blood purifier,
  • calcium channel blocker,
  • diuretic,
  • antiplatelet,
  • antidiabetic,
  • anti-stress, and
  • vasodilating properties in cardiac health.

RC is known to inhibit platelet activating factor-induced platelet aggregation and may play a beneficial role in coronary artery disease.

Further, RC relaxes the spasms of smooth muscles of heart and blood vessels, like standard “calcium channel blocker” drug.

How do we grow this plant at home?

Rubia cordifolia is a very adaptable plant, found growing in a range of climates from warm temperate to tropical.

Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade.

Tolerates dry soils but quickly becomes scorched when growing in full sun. When growing in cultivated fields, the plant can behave as a troublesome weed.

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade until large enough to plant out.

Division in spring or at any time in the growing season if the divisions are kept well watered until established. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position, planting them out once they are well established.


Manjistha Tea


200 ml water

1/4 tsp Manjistha leaves

Honey, to taste


Boil 200 ml of water in a saucepan.

Pour the boiled water into a cup.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Manjistha powder and stir until dissolved, allowing the herb to steep in the water. Strain and add one half or one teaspoon of honey since the powder gives the tea a bitter taste. Stir well before you sip!



  1. Chandrashekar, B S et al. “Characterization of Rubia cordifolia root extract and its evaluation of cardioprotective effect in Wistar rat model.” Indian journal of pharmacologyvol. 50,1 (2018): 12-21. doi:10.4103/ijp.IJP_418_17