Feb 12, 2014
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RUBIA CORDIFOLIA

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Linn.

Synonym ► R. munjesta Roxb.

Family ► Rubiaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India, ascending to an altitude of 3,700 m.

English ► Indian Madder, Bengal Madder.

Ayurvedic ► Manjishthaa, Vikasaa, Samangaa, Yojanavalli, Kaalameshi- ka, Raktaangi, Raktayashtikaa, Arunaa, Gandira, Jingi.

Unani ► Manjeeth.

Siddha/Tamil ► Manjitti.

Action ► Roots and dried stem— blood purifier, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, deobstruent, antidysenteric, antiseptic, alterative.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends the use of the dried stem in blood, skin and urinogenital disorders; dysentery; piles, ulcers, inflammations; erysipelas, skin diseases and rheumatism. (Roots, leaves and seeds of R. cordifolia, R. tinctorum and allied species are used in amenorrhoea, liver diseases, gall and spleen complaints.) (Mutagenic and carcinogenic aspects of the drug are under investigation.)

It is reported that after oral administration of the root decoction, the urine and bones of the patient show a red tinge.

The roots are rich in anthraquinones and their glycosides (around 20), the important ones include purpurin (tri- hydroxy anthraquinone), munjistin (xanthopurpurin-2-carboxylic acid); besides xanthopurpurin, peudopur- purin (purpurin-3-carboxylic acid), free alizarin as well as its glucoside.

Whole plant yielded pentacylic tri- terpenic acids—rubicoumaric and ru- bifolic acids.

Antitumour cyclic hexapeptides have been isolated from the root (while lucidin is thought to be carcinogenic).

The root extracts of R. sikkimensis Kurz, known as Naaga-Madder (Nepal eastwards to Assam, Nagaland and Ma- nipur); are very similar to those of R. cordifolia.

Dosage ► Stem—2-4 g. (API, Vol. III.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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