Manjista – An Ayurvedic Herb for Arthritis, Cancer, and Pain

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According to the book The Yoga of Herbs by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad, Manjista Root is one of the best blood purifying herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Also known as Indian Madder, Manjista works to cool and detoxify the blood, dissolve obstructions in blood flow (including blood clots), and remove stagnant blood. This makes it good for all inflammatory conditions of the blood (or the female reproductive system). In addition, its ability to dissolve obstructions extends to the liver and kidneys; it dissolves stones and helps destroy tumours, benign or malignant, according to Frawley.

Manjista even helps knit broken bones. It is, therefore, a good first aid medicine. And perhaps most remarkably, this herb is an effective treatment for toxic blood conditions such as genital herpes. It has also been shown to be an immune stimulant; one trial demonstrated an increase in white blood cell count by 151%.

Frawley recommends making a decoction of the root (strong tea), or mixing the powder with ghee to eat as a paste. Because of its strong astringent and cooling properties, Manjista root is not recommended for those with a cold constitution, or high Vata. Instead, it works well as an anti-Pitta herb for those with  a hot constitution.

This plant medicine is derived from the root of Rubia cordifolia, which grows in Southeast Asia, China, tropical Africa, and India. Those looking for relief from arthritic pain will be interested to know that Manjista contains a variety of quinones, iridoid glycosides, triterpinoids, and beta-sitosterol (all with anti-arthritic potential). Furthermore, research has shown Manjista’s efficacy as an antioxidant, muscle relaxer, and anti-seizure and anti-anxiety remedy.

In Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, CA, ND, Manjista is a described as a medicine specifically recommended for stopping bleeding of every kind, from nosebleed to coughing blood to uterine bleeding. It is also recommended for clearing blood stagnation, which relieves chest pains and flank pains. Its purifying properties also make it a supreme lymphatic tonic, and an effective tool for relieving trauma pain, joint pain, and the early stages of boils and carbuncles.

For a daily tonic, the recommendation is to mix 1-2 grams of Manjista with 8 oz. of water or a favourite beverage. And Manjista can be applied externally, mixed with honey, as a paste to treat skin discolouration or inflammation. Alternately, it can be made into a paste with powdered licorice root to soothe burned or damaged tissue.

Recently, Rootalive Inc. introduced Manjista Root in powder form to the Toronto marketplace. Imported from India, this product is gluten-free, certified organic, and comes in a 200 gram stand-up pouch with resealable zipper for easy storage. It is available at The Big Carrot Wholistic Dispensary, 348 Danforth Ave, Toronto, and other fine health food stores across Canada.

For more information on Manjista Root Powder, or to purchase the product, contact Francis Ashwagandha at The Big Carrot Dispensary (416) 466-8432.

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