Origin: Common madder/Indian madder, scientifically known as Rubia cordifolia is a flowering plant species of the coffee family. The public name of this plant is manjistha in Sanskrit. 
Dating back to the Vedic period, Manjistha is described in the Atreya Aranyaka. Ancient Ayurvedic texts talk about its role in healthcare.
Manjistha is an Ayurvedic herb that is mentioned in the Brihat trayis, the three major texts on Ayurveda. 
Manjistha has been a beneficial plant since time immemorial.  Roots of Manjistha have an esteemed place in Ayurveda and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for their incredible powers. 

It was an economically major source of a red pigment in many regions of Asia, Europe, and Africa. It was widely cultivated from antiquity until the mid-nineteenth century. This long timeline can be seen across the globe, in a 5,000 years old dyed cloth from India. Another example is 3,500-year-old dyed belt in the famous tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, in the Manjistha-dyed robes of warriors to exhibit their victory. Another illustration of its dramatic legacy is in the 2,000-year history in ancient China, where it was regarded as one of the most prominent dyeing agents and became a huge cash crop. 

In many places, it was used in beauty rituals as a natural cosmetic to redden lips, cheeks, and even hair. As trade routes increased, Manjistha has carried thousands of miles and found new homes in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. By 1865, worldwide production of Manjistha reached 70,000 tons a year. 
Manjistha, the herb meaning bright red is traditionally used as a tinting agent in medicated oils. For centuries, the intensely bitter taste of Manjistha puts an end to build up natural toxins. 

Scientifically: Manjistha is a great blood purifier as it removes all the toxins from the blood. Since it embraces the characteristics of a blood purifier, it can provide relief from various skin diseases and relieves itching eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and herpes. 
This herb proudly embraces the reputation for cleansing the blood and detoxifying the liver while offering excellent support for the lymphatic system.

Manjistha also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it good for common skin problems. It stimulates the healing of skin tissues damaged by injury or infection. Not only this, but it is also helpful in treating rickets and calcium deficiency. It is a savior for women during painful menstruation as it relieves the pain. 

Manjistha cleans and regulates the pancreas, spleen, liver, and kidneys and promote the proper functioning of the digestive system. Manjistha has the capability to heal diabetic ulcers. Manjistha can destroy both malignant and benign tumors. Quinones present in Manjistha has also demonstrated anti-tumor effects against histolytic lymphoma and myeloid leukemia.  It detoxifies the body both physically and mentally. One of the best herbs for skin Manjistha is rejuvenative for the skin. It is also extensively used as an anti-aging herb.  It treats hyperpigmentation, cures acne, heals damaged skin and works as a cleanser. 

Usage: Manjistha has been used in Ayurveda since ages. The powder made up of Manjistha is consumed by many people for good health. The Manjistha oil is used for massage in spas as well as at home. Manjistha is also used for making a tea that is very beneficial for health. In addition,Manjistha powder is used in various beauty and wellness products to get nourished hair and skin. It is used in various Ayurvedic oils. 

Here are some DIY with manjistha for beautiful hair and skin: 

- Mix 2 teaspoons of gram flour, 2 teaspoons of wheatgrass powder, 1 teaspoon of manjistha and few drops of honey in the milk. Leave it on the skin for 15 minutes and then wash off. This mask helps in cleansing of the skin.
- Take a teaspoon of manjistha powder, add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of yogurt to it. Mix well and apply to the face or body. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off. This mask helps in improving texture and skin tone.
- Take equal amounts of manjistha powder and amla powder and mix them well with somr water to form a paste. Apply this to your hair and lei it on for 45 minutes, then shampoo. This helps in preventing premature graying of hair.
- Take a teaspoon of manjistha powder with a teaspoon of ground almonds. Add half a teaspoon of honey to it and mix well. Apply this mask to the face and gently massage it. This helps in removing dead skin.
- Take a tablespoon of manjistha powder with enough water to make a smooth paste. Apply it to your hair and leave it in place for 30 minutes. Wash it off later. This helps in strengthening the roots.