Manjistha Tea Benefits, How To Take Manjistha, Side Effects, Contraindications
Manjistha is an Ayurvedic bitter and astringent herb which pacifies Kapha and Pitta dosha. It has been used traditionally for centuries due to its effectiveness incleansing and purifying the blood1and the circulatory system.2There’s a variety of ways to take Manjistha including Manjistha Tea, calledPhant, and Manjistha decoction. While scrolling through the article, don’t forget to check out the section on Manjistha contraindications and Manjistha side effects.
Manjistha is truly a fascinating herb thatpurifies the lymphatic systemas well as the blood. Keep reading to learn how itcleanses toxins from the bodyandimproves immunity, plus how to take it. Here’s what we’ll cover.
Ayurvedic Properties Of Manjistha Manjistha In The Ancient Ayurvedic Texts Manjistha For Kapha Dosha, Cleansing And Purifying How To Take Manjistha (Ayurvedic Formulations) How To Make Manjistha Tea At Home Manjistha Decoction (Kwath) Manjistha Tea Benefits Manjistha Side Effects Manjistha Contraindications, Safety + Precautions
READ MORE: Manjistha: Lymph Purifier, Ayurvedic Blood + Toxin Cleanser, Ashwagandha Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects + More
Ayurvedic Properties Of Manjistha
Manjistha possesses three tastes: madhura(sweet),tikta(bitter) andkashaya(astringent). It is heavy (guru) in nature, which gives it an earthy essence (soma/ cooling property). It has a pungent post-digestive effect and is hot in potency, which makes it fiery or heating (agneya) at the same time. Thisunique qualityof Manjistha, havingtwo contrasting propertiesofsoma(cooling) andagni(heating) is quiterarein Ayurvedic herbs.
By virtue of these threerasaor tastes, itpacifies Pittaand used in health conditions arising out of an imbalance of Pitta dosha andrakta(blood tissue). By virtue of itsushna(heating) potency, it has the ability topenetrate deeper into the tissue level. It is able to bind and safely remove ama, amavisha(endogenous toxins) andgaravisha(xenobiotics / exogenous toxins). These toxins form due to imbalanced Pitta and environmental toxins respectively. Manjistha removes them from the body without aggravating Pitta.It heals the damagecaused due to accumulation of toxins. Theguru(heavy) property andmadhura(sweet)rasaof Manjistha, which are the soma-rich properties of the herb, allow it to soak up the toxins and neutralize them.3
Manjistha In The Ancient Ayurvedic Texts
This Ayurvedic herb has been described in all three revered texts of Ayurveda, together called the ‘Brihat Trayis’. These include theCharaka Samhita,Sushruta SamhitaandAshtanga HridayabyVagbhata.
Ayurvedic master Charaka categorized Mansjistha as varnya (one that improves the complexion), jvarahara (relieves fever), vishaghna (removes toxins).4 Ayurvedic master Sushruta mentioned it under the ‘Priyanguadi’ group of herbs which help in wound healing and the joining of fractured bones.5 Ayurvedic master Sushruta also mentioned it as pittasamsamana, that which pacifies Pitta.5
Vagbhata also mentioned it underPriyanguadi group of herbs. All the ancient texts have delineated it as useful in improving the colour and complexion of the skin. It is well known as arakta shodhak (blood purifier).6 The blood purifying property of Manjistha can be attributed to its ability to calm and balance Pitta dosha(pittasamana).
PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly ofpure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say,“One who massages their face with it regularly for 7 consecutive nights, gets skin with a glow that's reminiscent of the attractive radiance of gold!”
Manjistha For Kapha Dosha, Cleansing And Purifying
In today’s fast-paced digital and media centric culture, we are getting increasingly disconnected from the very source (nature) that can heal us, balance our emotions and awaken our consciousness. Even if we are careful at consuming a clean and pure diet, we are still exposed to environmental, chemical, media and internet pollutants on top of lacking physical exercise. This leads to an accumulation of toxins in our body systems which are very difficult to remove and may lead to various disorders.
Ayurveda considers Manjistha one of the best cleansing and purifying herbs. Manjistha is known to be effective in dealing withimbalanced Kapha dosha, which can lead tolethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginessand more.
A lethargic and sluggish body is increasingly common today and is a cause of damage to one’s health. If left untreated, an imbalance of Kapha dosha may lead to the following health issues.
Dry skin, skin rashes, acne or breakouts
Digestive issues and constipation
Bloating and water retention
Soreness and stiffness in the morning
Weight gain and extra belly fat
Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
Mood swings and lack of vitality
Occasional diarrhea, constipation, mucus in the stool
Low immunity – constantly catching colds or feeling like one is on the verge of getting sick
The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance the Kapha dosha, and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha congestion.
How To Take Manjistha (Ayurvedic Formulations)
Manjistha is an important ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations and preparations. Manjistha on its own can be used as Manjistha powder,Mahamanjisthadi kvatha(decoction), Manjisthaarka(tincture) or Manjisthaphanta(hot infusion), otherwise known as Manjistha tea.
The most commonly used part of Manjistha is its roots. It can be used whole to make a tea or tincture. It can also be used in powdered form or in capsule form as a supplement.
Keep reading to learn how to prepare Manjistha tea and how it benefits your body. Before that, it is necessary to know that the ancient Ayurvedic texts mention five pharmaceutical processes for formulations. They areSwaras(juice),Kalka(paste),Shrita / kwath(decoction),Shita(cold infusion),Phant(hot infusion).7
Acharya(master)Charakaalso mentioned that the potency of the preparation preceding is greater than the succeeding one. So, these preparations are prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners with due regard to the strength of the recipient and the extent of the dosha imbalance. All these preparations are not equally useful to all.7
Manjistha Decoction (Shrita / Kwath)
A present-day tea preparation can be related toshrita / kwath(decoction) orPhant(hot infusion) preparation as mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts.
A decoction is a concentrated liquor resulting from heating and boiling a substance, especially an herbal preparation. In the process the essence of the herb is extracted into the liquid used.
Let’s see how to make a decoction.
Place the plant matter or herb to be used in a non-aluminium pot with cool water.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Boil the mixture anywhere from eight to ten minutes until up to two-thirds of the water has evaporated.*
Strain the mixture before consumption.
The length of the boiling time depends on the type of plant material in question and the desired strength of the decoction. Decoctions release more essential oils and flavour from plant matter and are often used for plant matter with tough surfaces or smaller surface areas such as roots and stems.
According toSharangdhar Samhita, a classical Ayurvedic text, the process ofKwathpreparation is as follows.
Use one part of coarse powder of the herb, boiled with 16 parts of water in a vessel without a lid. Provide uniform heat and boil until one eighth part remains. The mixture is then strained with a cloth and taken asKwath.8
Manjistha Tea Or Hot Infusion (Phant)
Phantor hot infusion is a drink made by placing the herb into a hot liquid (such as hot water) and infused. Infusions are the most popular method of preparing teas and tisanes. Tisanes are actually herbal infusions or decoctions made from a plant other thanCamellia sinensis, traditional tea leaves. Tisanes are caffeine free and can be served hot or cold. Herbal teas actually have a long history, dating back to ancient China and Egypt, where tisanes were drunk for both enjoyment and medicinal purposes.
Let’s have a look at how these herbal hot infusions (Phant) are prepared.
This tea or “herbal tea” preparation is also callbrewingand typically involves:
Pouring hot water over the plant part (such as dried leaves or herbal powder)
Waiting for a period of time (calledsteeping).
Removing the plant part before drinking.
Manjistha can be used both in decoction form or infusion form. It also has great benefits when massaged on facial skin.
How To Make Manjistha Tea At Home
At first, use the infusion method.
Ingredients 200 ml water 1/4 tsp Manjistha powder Honey, to taste
Directions Boil 200 ml of water in a saucepan. Pour the boiled water into a cup. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Manjistha powder and stir until dissolved, allowing the herb to steep in the water. Strain and add one half or one teaspoon of honey since the powder gives the tea a bitter taste. Stir well before you sip!
This hot infusion of Manjistha is very beneficial during postnatal period. It helps in cleansing the uterus as it has a contractile effect on the uterine muscles.9
Let’s now look at theKwath(decoction) preparation of Manjistha.
Manjistha Decoction (Kwath)
Manjistha kwath is prepared in combination with other herbs and boiled until one fourth is left. Here are some examples.
A powder is prepared by grinding the following herbs together in equal parts: Manjistha, amalaki, haritaki, bibhitaki, kutki, bark of neem, bark of pippali, guduchi and chandan. One part (1 teaspoon) of this powder is then boiled in a cup of water until one fourth part of water remains and then it is strained.
This decoction, if taken regularly for a few days, is beneficial in cases ofVatarakta(Gouty arthritis) and skin diseases. This decoction helps in removing toxins from the blood.9
VariousManjisthadi Kwathpreparations are described in the Ayurvedic textBhaishajya RatnavaliinKustha rogadhikar(skin diseases chapter). These formulations are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies in India and available widely. They should be taken on the recommendation of an Ayurvedic practitioner only. TheseKwathare beneficial in all kinds ofKustha vikar(skin diseases), gouty arthritis, blood disorders, herpes, disorders of the eyes, skin rashes and skin eruptions.10
Manjistha Tea Benefits
Now let us look at some benefits of Manjistha tea. These benefits are based on the traditional uses of Manjistha as mentioned in the Ayurvedic materia medica and Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia as well as scientific research findings.
1. For Digestive Health
Manjistha isdeepan(kindles the digestive fire),pachan(digestive),stambhan(retentive) andkrimighna(deworming) as mentioned in the Ayurvedic materia medica.11
Besides facilitating healthy digestion, its astringent and bitter compound also helps to treat constipation, dysentery and worm infestations.12Manjistha helps in the digestion ofama(undigested food particles). Because it isguru(heavy) in property and sweet in taste, it soaks up toxins (ama) and neutralizes them. At the same time it has the ability to penetrate into the tissues, bind the toxins together and safely remove them. Its astringent taste makes it styptic, capable of stopping bleeding and so it is helpful in blood dysentery and haemorrhagic disorders like piles (arsha).12
2. For Gynecological Disorders (Yoni roga)12
Manjistha facilitates regular and healthy menstruation. It is also useful for postnatal ailments and excessive abdominal pain or bleeding. It is indicated inYoni rogas(gynaecological diseases) as mentioned in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India.12In the Ayurvedic materia medica, it is said to increase uterine contractions and induce bleeding in cases of amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. It also relieves pain during dysmenorrhea and encourages easy flow during the menstrual cycle. It increases uterine contractions and induces menstrual flow. It is also mentioned to bestanya shodhan, meaning it detoxifies breast milk.11
3. For The Skin
Both the external and internal use of Manjistha facilitates the removal of acne13and evens out the skin tone promoting healthy, glowing skin.14
4. For The Urinary System
In the Indian materia medica Manjistha has been described asPramehghna(useful in Urinary tract disorders).11 Its diuretic and antimicrobial properties are beneficial for treating urinary tract infections.14
5. It Maintains Normal Blood Circulation And Improves Heart Health
Manjistha regulates blood pressure and the tendency of blood clots to form, thereby helping to maintain normal blood pressure and blood circulation.15
The decoction helps in the regulation of blood pressure while discouraging the narrowing of blood vessels, heart blockage, as well as blood clot formation.2A cup of this decoction a day would, therefore, ensure good heart health.
6. It’s Rejuvenating
By virtue of its antioxidant property, it acts as rejuvenating agent and delays aging. Research shows in vitro antioxidant and anticholinergic activity.16
7. It’s Detoxifying
In Ayurveda, Manjistha is considered to be one of the best cleansing and purifying herbs. Manjistha is known to prove effective in dealing with imbalanced Kapha dosha, which can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginess and more. These issues result from a slow metabolism (agni) and accumulation of toxins. The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance the Kapha dosha and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha stagnation. It thereby facilitates the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Thus it is helpful in cases of weight gain due tosleshmaja soth.12
8. It’s An Immunity Booster
It is a potent immunity booster as well. The lymphatic system is responsible for helping the body get rid of all waste, unwanted and toxic matter. Any disruption in its functioning can cause several imbalances in the body leading to a host of health issues. Manjistha tea consumption rules out the aforementioned problem. Although there is no known side effects mentioned, overconsumption is not recommended.
Manjistha Side Effects
Despite its myriad uses, Manjistha has its side effects as well.
Manjistha should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation. Consuming it can change the colour of your urine and stool.
Use this herb cautiously with anticoagulants like Warfarin and Coumadin as Manjistha has anti-platelet action.2
It is important to note that Manjistha may temporarily turn urine colour orange or brown.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women is not known. Safety associated with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.
Herbs can heal and nourish if taken in the right quantity, at the right time and according to one’sprakriti(body type). So it is highly recommended to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area and find out whether Manjistha is the right herb for you!