The ancient alternative health care of Ayurvedic medicine can be traced back to 6000 B.C. in India. Ayurveda uses a wide range of plants and herbs, many of which are considered superfoods, to treat diseases and ailments from heart disease to skin conditions. While herbs such as turmeric and moringa have recently gained popularity in the West, one of the lesser known but equally powerful herbs used in Ayurveda is manjistha. Known mainly for purifying the blood and reducing stress on the circulatory system, this superfood also has a powerful effect in treating skin disorders.
Technically known as Rubia cordifolia, and often called Indian madder, manjistha is an herb native to the Indian subcontinent and is a species of the coffee family. It grows as a vine, usually up to 9 metres, and has shiny, heart-shaped deep green leaves and robust red roots. The coffee has a unique but bitter taste at first, followed by a spicy aftertaste. Traditionally, it was discovered that a dark brown or reddish powder could be made from the roots of the plant, which was used as a dye for medicinal oils and fabrics such as cotton.
As for its health benefits, when taken orally it has powerful properties to cleanse the blood, purify the lymph nodes, flush out toxins, treat arthritis, aid digestion and support the health of the liver and kidneys. And while taking it orally can help heal skin conditions from the inside out, applying it topically can provide faster results and an extra boost in treating conditions. When used topically, this miracle worker can be used to brighten and cleanse the skin, treat psoriasis, lighten scars and fight inflammation that can lead to dry, irritated skin. It is also a powerful player when combined with other purifying herbs such as neem and anti-inflammatory plants such as turmeric, or haldi in Hindi.
When balancing doshas, manjistha can be the ideal complement. It can help balance the pitta and kapha energies, especially when they are higher than normal, which often happens in the hot summer months.
Because manjistha is so powerful in promoting circulation in the body and skin, it is an excellent addition to your skin ritual to achieve a natural look from within. It increases circulation, bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the skin’s surface, and aids in lymphatic drainage, draining toxins from the skin and body. There are several ways to incorporate this ingredient into your routine. Manjistha has the rare ability to reduce both acne and signs of ageing.
We used Manjistha in our Manjistha and Kumkumadi Soaps
For best results, moisten the soap and rub it several times with your hands. Then apply the soap to your skin with your hands and massage lightly with circular movements. You can also use a skin brush or a loofah sponge for this. Rinse off with warm water. Your skin is now properly cleansed. We recommend using a facial oil afterwards.