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Rubia cordifolia, often known as common madder or Indian madder, is a species of flowering plant in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. It has been cultivated for a red pigment derived from roots. It can grow to 1.5 m in height.
The evergreen leaves are 5–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4-7 starlike around the central stem. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems.
Rubia cordifolia was an economically important source of a red pigment in many regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. It was extensively cultivated from antiquity until the mid nineteenth century. The plant's roots contain an organic compound called Alizarin, that gives its red colour to a textile dye known as Rose madder. Manjishta is a famous herb for blood detoxifying. Its root is extensively used in many skin disease medicines of Ayurveda.