Rubia cordifolia (Manjistha), often known as common Madder is a species of flowering plant in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. It has been cultivated for a red pigment derived from roots. It is a perennial, prickly climber with a stem, growing up to 12 m long. Leaves are highly variable, ovate lanceolate, 5-7 nerved, 2-10 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, occurring in whorls of 4-6. Flowers are fragrant, minute, whitish or greenish yellow. Fruit is minute, glabrous, 1-2 seeded, dark purplish or blackish when mature. During August to October plant carries flower and fruit. Roots are perennial, long, cylindrical, and rusty brown in color. Manjistha is probably the best alternative or blood-purifying herb in indigenous system of medicine. It cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in blood flow and removes stagnant blood. It is having healing action, thus helpful in erosions of gums and bleeding gums. In indigenous medicine, it is used as an immune regulator. Its antioxidant properties are also being investigated. Its role in supporting heart health is evidenced by studies that show that it regulates blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and the tendency of blood to form clots.
Many research teams have suggested that Rubia cordifolia has wound healing, antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, hepatoprotective, anti-platelet activating factor & anti-acne activity.