Rubia tinctorum, also known as Rose Madder, Common Madder and Dyer's Madder, it is an herbaceous perennial plant species belonging to the same plant family as coffee, the Rubiaceae family. Madder is evergreen with whorls of finely toothed leaves and greenish white flowers and black berries. The root has been used since ancient times as a vegetable red dye for leather, wool, cotton and silk.
Although once revered as a medicinal plant, Madder is rarely worked with today. The root is said to aperient, astringent, a cholagogue, diuretic and emmenagogue and was once used for kidney and bladder stones. Another species of madder, Rubia cordifolia called Manjistha holds a significant place in Ayurvedic medicine where it is indicated for stagnant blood and is considered a blood purifying herb. Madder cools and detoxifies the blood and dissolves obstructions in blood flow.