Rubia cordifolia herb health benefit and use by Chinese herbal medicine

The medicinal plant Rubia cordifolia has been used widely in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for its antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Rubia cordifolia and cancer
Rubia cordifolia herb has several anti cancer compounds including epoxymollugin.

Role of Rubia cordifolia in radiation protection.
Indian J Exp Biol. 2007. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.
The radioprotective potential of alcoholic extract of root of Rubia cordifolia, was studied by survival, hemopoietic cell protection and micronucleus assay. The LD50 value for the alcoholic root extract was found to be 1200 mg/kg body weight at 72 hr post irradiation. A significant radiation protection (67%) as assessed by increased animal survival was observed when Rubia cordifolia extract was administered intraperitoneally, 90 min. before the radiation exposure. Besides, the extract also inhibited radiation induced lipid peroxidation measured by the inhibition of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance. Our results indicate that the alcoholic root extract of Rubia cordifolia provides significant protection against radiation induced lipid peroxidation, hemopoietic injury and genotoxicity. The mechanism of action of Rubia cordifolia extract appears to be through its anti-oxidant, metal chelation and anti-inflammatory property.

Kidney stones
Protective effect of the hydro-alcoholic extract of Rubia cordifolia roots against ethylene glycol induced urolithiasis in rats.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2010. Department of Pharmacology, Acharya and B.M. Reddy College of Pharmacy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
This study investigated the protective effect of the hydro-alcoholic extract of roots of Rubia cordifolia Linn. (HARC) against ethylene glycol induced urolithiasis and its possible underlying mechanisms using male Wistar albino rats. Ethylene glycol feeding resulted in hyperoxaluria, hypocalciuria as well as increased renal excretion of phosphate. Supplementation with HARC significantly prevented change in urinary calcium, oxalate and phosphate excretion dose-dependently. The increased calcium and oxalate levels and number of calcium oxalate crystals deposits in the kidney tissue of calculogenic rats were significantly reverted by HARC treatment. The HARC supplementation also prevents the impairment of renal functions. Extract of roots of Rubia cordifolia can protect against ethylene glycol induced urolithiasis as it reduced and prevented the growth of urinary stones. Therefore, HARC is helpful to prevent the recurrence of the disease as it showed its effect on early stages of stone development. The mechanism underlying this effect is mediated possibly through an antioxidant, nephroprotection and its effect on the urinary concentration of stone-forming constituents and risk factors.

Rubiacordone A: a new anthraquinone glycoside from the roots of Rubia cordifolia.
Molecules. 2009; College of Chinese Medicinal Materials, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, PR China.
A new anthraquinone, Rubiacordone A, was isolated together with the known anthraquinone, from the dried roots of Rubia cordifolia. Rubiacordone showed considerable antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria.

Rubia species
Rubia tinctorum