The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Indian Madder
Rubia manjith is a Perennial Climber
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
E. Asia - Pakistan to S.E. Tibet.
Growing on shrubs, 1200 - 2700 metres[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. It is possible that many if not all the useful attributes of R. cordifolia also belong here since there is some confusion over the names. All the attributes of both species are listed here and it is noted where they have been applied to R. cordifolia rather than this species. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade[
]. Tolerates dry soils but quickly becomes scorched when growing in full sun[
The following uses have been applied to R. cordifolia but might also apply here.
Leaves - cooked. They are used as a side dish with rice[
]. Much esteemed as a lab-lab by the Javanese[
Fruit - raw[
The following notes are for the related R. cordifolia. They quite possibly also belong here.
The roots are alterative, anodyne, antiphlogistic, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, styptic, tonic and vulnerary[
]. They are used to lower the blood pressure[
]. The roots are used internally in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, internal and external haemorrhage, bronchitis, rheumatism, stones in the kidney, bladder and gall, dysentery etc[
]. The roots are harvested in the autumn from plants that are at least 3 years old. They are peeled and then dried[
The stems are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency[
]. Febrifuge, they are used in the treatment of blood disorders and spreading fever of kidneys and intestines[
A valuable red dye is obtained from the root and stems[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate[
]. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for the first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in spring or at any time in the growing season if the divisions are kept well watered until established[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.