Manjistha is the Sanskrit name for a creeper with blood red sap, also known as Indian madder. The Latin name is rubia cordifolia.
Manjistha can pacify the reactivity of toxins in the body while supporting detoxification.
According the ancient Ayurvedic text, Bhava Prakash, manjistha is able to bind the free radical (amavisha) and xenobiotic (garavisha) toxins which cause inflammation (shotha), skin disease (kushta), ulcers (vrana), among other problems.
A detox crisis results when toxins come out of the liver or other tissues faster than they can be removed by the body. This can result in damage to the channels, inflammation and auto-immune flare-ups.
When reactive toxins float freely in tissues such as blood and muscle, they create lots of damage. The free radicals and highly acidic toxins literally eat away at the healthy tissues, which can lead to an immune response that can sometimes spiral out of control.
The cause may be irresponsible detoxification (trying to detoxify the liver or other organs too fast, causing a reabsorption of toxins into the blood). Or it may be due to poor diet, compounded over years with blocked channels of elimination. Or it may result from negative emotions and unhealthy thinking over many years.
Whatever the cause, when highly reactive toxins (visha) overflow the protective bounds of the liver and move into the blood and other tissues, auto-immune reactions such as psoriasis (kushta), inflammation (shotha), ulcers (vrana) and other symptoms may appear, according to Ayurveda.
The first thing that must be done is to slow the detox process. If a person is using a highly detoxifying herb like neem or turmeric, this must be stopped. If diet is the problem, it must be corrected to include more summer squashes and other soma-rich foods, as well as binders such as okra, barley and tapioca.
Manjistha is the herb of choice because it binds the reactive toxins (visha) and helps get them out of the body.
While it is not a strong detoxifying herb itself, at least for the liver or the deep tissues, manjistha is good at getting toxins safely out of the blood and muscle tissues.
Other herbs may dislodge toxins from deeper tissues, but if they are not completely removed from the body, they can end up in the blood and muscle where they can do a lot a damage. In such cases, manjistha provides a way to safely remove those toxins once they get into the blood and muscle.
The name, manjistha, means "that which cleans without creating any detox crisis." It also means "that which reestablishes the vibrational rhythm of the tissues that were damaged by toxins."
While manjistha is mainly a physical herb for removing physical toxins, it does have a vibrational energy which helps to reestablish the intelligence of the tissues. In fact, another name for manjistha in Sanskrit is jingi, "that which has a lot of vibrational energy."
Manjistha has three tastes madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent). It also has guru (heavy) and ushna (heating) properties. This balanced combination of soma (cooling properties) and agni (heating properties) is quite rare in Ayurvedic plants, and makes manjistha very useful.
The ushna quality (heating property) of manjistha allows the herb to penetrate into the cellular level of the tissues. This would not be possible without agni (heat).
At the same time, the guru (heavy) and madhura (sweet) properties of manjistha make it possible to bind the reactive toxins in the tissues. It is the earthy, soma-rich properties of the herb which allow it to soak up the toxins and neutralize them.
Manjistha has been used since ancient times for many conditions resulting from excess toxicity in the tissues. By removing those toxins, it has been used to improved the conditions.
Kushta is the Sanskrit word for chronic skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and many others. According to Ayurveda, skin problems occur when the body tries to remove toxins from the blood through the skin. By binding and removing the toxins of the blood in the blood, manjistha helps to reduce the break-out of skin problems.
Raktatisara is the Sanskrit word for bloody diarrhea. While manjistha is not the primary herb for this condition, which can be caused by many factors, it is helpful to bind hot, acidic toxins that can sometimes cause this problem.
Visarpa is a condition described in the ancient texts, most easily translated as herpes. There are many forms of herpes and not all of them fall under the category of visarpa. Visarpa is a painful condition where deep toxins from the bone marrow come out and burn the nerves and skin tissue.
Because manjistha is good at binding toxins in the surface tissues, it is helpful for removing the toxins once they get out of the marrow. It cannot detoxify the marrow itself, but it can clean up the mess caused by such a detoxification.
Vrana is the Sanskrit word for open ulcers. There has been a lot of research done at Banares Hindu University with clinical trials on the efficacy of manjistha for treating diabetic ulcers on the legs and feet. Again, the ability of manjistha to bind reactive toxins in the tissues is what makes it helpful in this regard.
In this 30 minute lecture by Vaidya Mishra, you will hear how Bhava Prakash described manjistha's properties in ancient times. Word by word, you will go through the Sanskrit text with Vaidya Mishra.
You will learn about the difficulty in finding good manjistha today, the many names for this plant in Sanskrit, and its properties and uses according to Bhava Prakash.
You will also hear an anecdote from Vaidya Mishra of a woman who used manjistha in the case of autoimmune toxins in the optic nerve.
When you download the zip file for this section of the course (and unzip it using a free unzip program like 7-Zip), you will find a PDF file (which can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) and an MP3 file (which can be played on any MP3 player such as iPod or iTunes). You can listen to the audio alone, but for the first time through (at least), we recommend that you follow along with the PDF document to make sure that all of the concepts are clear. The PDF's sometimes contain visual diagrams in addition to the Sanskrit verses. If you learn visually, reading along with the PDF will be helpful.
We also recommend reviewing the PDF, and re-listening to the MP3 file many times, so that you begin to recognize the knowledge and own it. These MP3 files are especially good to put on your MP3 player so you can listen in the car. Just as it is easy to remember songs you hear over and over on the radio, you will find that the knowledge in these lectures will stick to you with no effort when you hear them over and over. You will also find that your understanding of the material deepens each time you hear them.
Manjistha is used as a secondary ingredient in the following products.
This product and statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All of the information above is intended to be used for educational purposes only and may not be used to replace or compliment medical advice.