Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rubia cordifolia L.

English Name : Indian Madder

Family : Rubiaceae

A very variable, prickly creeper or climber. The rootstocks are perennial; the roots, long and cylindric with a thin, red bark; the stems, four angled. The leaves are very variable, cordate-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 8 in a whorl, normally 4, sometimes 1 pair is larger. The flowers are small, white or greenish, or in shades of red and yellow, sweet-scented in terminal panicles of cymes; the fruits, globose, or slightly 2-lobed, dark-purplish or black, fleshy with 2 small seeds.

Often found on hilly forested areas

Parts Used
Root, stem, seed, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Alterative, anodyne, antiphlogistic, antitussive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, styptic, tonic, vulnerary, hypoglycemic (EtOH extract of aerial part); cleanses the bowel, antiseptic and astringent (root).

Active Ingredients
Beta-sitosterol, physcion, purpurin, Munjistin, xanthopurpurin or purpuroxanthin, pseudopurpurin, rubifolic and rubicoumaric acids (plant).

Medicinal Use
To treat skin diseases, piles, diabetes, fracture, freckles, in rheumatism, leprosy, menorrhagia, abnormal uterine bleeding, internal and external haemorrhage, bronchitis, rheumatism, stones in the kidney, urinary bladder and gall bladder, dysentery etc. (root); antidote for scorpion stings and bites by cobras, in the treatment of blood disorders and spreading fever of kidneys and intestines (stem); spleen enlargement and liver problems (plant).


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