Manjistha: The Ayurvedic Indian Herb

An overview of the history and benefits of manjistha.
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 A look into one of Ayurveda’s most powerful skin-healing herbs

The ancient alternative healthcare of Ayurvedic medicine can be traced back to 6,000 BCE in India. The practice of Ayurveda uses a host of plants and herbs, many of which are considered superfoods, to treat illnesses and ailments from heart disease to skin conditions. While herbs like turmeric and moringa have recently gained popularity in the West, one of the lesser known, but equally powerful herbs used in Ayurveda, is manjistha. This superfood, which is best known for purifying the blood and reducing stress on the circulatory system, also packs a powerful punch when treating skin conditions.

Technically known as the Rubia cordifolia, and oftentimes called the Indian madder, manjistha is an herb native to the Indian subcontinent and a species of the coffee family. It grows as a vine, typically up to 9 feet, and has shiny, heart-shaped deep green leaves and robust red roots. It initially has a unique but bitter taste, followed by a spicy aftertaste. Traditionally, it was discovered that the roots of the plant could be turned into a dark brown or reddish powder, which was used as a coloring agent for medicated oils and fabrics like cotton.

As for its benefits on one’s health, when taken orally, it has potent abilities to cleanse the blood, purify the lymph nodes, flush toxins, treat arthritis, aid in digestion and support liver and kidney health. And although taking it orally can help cure skin conditions from the inside out, applying it topically can provide faster results and give an extra boost when 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 may lead to dry, irritated skin. It’s also a power player when paired with other purifying herbs like neem and inflammatory-fighting plants like turmeric, or haldi in Hindi. 

When balancing doshas, manjistha can be the ideal supplement. It’s able to provide assistance when balancing the pitta and kapha energies, particularly when they are higher than usual, common in the hot summer months.

Because manjistha is so powerful at promoting circulation within the body and skin, it’s an excellent addition to your skin ritual to achieve a natural radiance from within. It increases circulation, which brings freshly oxygenated blood to the skin’s surface, and aids in lymphatic drainage, which helps get rid of toxins from the skin and body. There are several ways to incorporate this ingredient into your routine, starting with a cleanser. Manjistha has the rare ability to both reduce acne and signs of aging. It’s the hero ingredient in our Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser. For best results, apply the Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser, to damp skin and lightly massage using circular motions. Rinse off with warm water. In addition to cleansing, manjistha works well at brightening the skin, and is what you should look for in a serum or oil. Made with turmeric and saffron along with manjistha, our Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum is a good choice. Turmeric works to naturally reduce hyperpigmentation and saffrons repairs cell damage. Manjistha works to enhance the healing properties of turmeric, which is a powerful ingredient that helps reduce dark circles. Gently apply and massage the serum to your face and under the eyes with a chilled kansa wand, which will help the skin absorb the nutrients, and notice a more awake, radiant and brighter complexion. 

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