Document Type: Review Article


1 Graduate of Master Textile Engineering, branch Tehran, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Specializing in the affairs herbal and industrial dyeing crude materials for exquisite carpet weaving, Kashan, Iran


The medicinal part of Rubia tinctorum is the dried root. The small yellowishgreen flowers are in loose, leafy, long-peduncled terminal or auxiliary cymes. The margin of the calyx is indistinct, 4- to 5-sectioned and has a tip that is curved inward. There are five stamens and an inferior ovary. The fruit is a black, pea-sized glabrous, smooth drupe containing two seeds. The perennial plant grows to a height of 60 to 100 cm. The pencil thick rhizome creeps widely underground. The stem is quadrangular with backward turning prickles at the edges


Blömeke, B., Poginsky, B., Schmutte, C., Marquardt, H. & Westendorf, J. (1992) Formation of genotoxic metabolites from anthraquinone glycosides present in Rubia tinctorum L. Mutat. Res., 265, 263–272.
Blumenthal, M., Busse, W.R., Goldberg, A., Gruenwald, J., Hall, T., Riggins, C.W. & Rister, R.S., eds (1998) The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, Austin, TX/ Boston, MA, American Botanical Council/Integrative Medicine Communications.
Derksen, G.C.H., Van Beek, T.A., De Groot, A. & Capelle, A. (1998) High-performance liquid chromatographic method for the analysis of anthraquinone glycosides and aglycones in madder root (Rubia tinctorum L.). J. Chromatogr. A., 816, 277–281.
El-Emary, N.A. & Backheet, E.Y. (1998) Three hydroxymethylanthraquinone glycosides from Rubia tinctorum. Phytochemistry, 49, 277–279
Felter, H.W. & Lloyd, J.U. (2002) King’s American Dispensatory. Rubia-Madder (http://ftp.oit.
Fujita, M., Furuya, T. & Matsuo, M. (1961) Studies on the metabolism of naturally occurring anthraquinones. I. The metabolism of 1 hydroxyanthraquinone and 2-hydroxyanthraquinone. Chem.
pharm. Bull., 9, 962–966. Krizsan, K., Szokan, G., Toth, Z.A., Hollosy, F., Laszlo, M. & Khlafulla, A. (1996) HPLC analysis of anthraquinone derivatives in madder root (Rubia tinctorum) and its cell cultures. J. liq. Chromatogr. relat.
Technol., 19, 2295–2314.
Mori, H., Mori, Y., Tanaka, T., Yoshimi, N., Sugie, S., Kawamori, T. & Narisawa, T. (1992) Cell kinetic analysis of the mucosal epithelium and assay of ornithine decarboxylase activity during the process of 1-
hydroxyanthraquinone-induced large bowel carcinogenesis in rats. Carcinogenesis, 13, 2217–2220.
Murti, V.V.S., Seshadri, T.R. & Sivakumaran, S. (1972) Chemical components of Rubia iberica. Indian J. Chem., 10, 246–247.
Poginsky, B., Westendorf, J., Blömeke, B., Marquardt, H., Hewer, A., Grover, P.L. & Phillips, D.H. (1991) Evaluation of DNA-binding activity of hydroxyanthraquinones occurring in Rubia tinctorum L. Carcinogenesis, 12, 1265–1271.
Westendorf, J., Poginsky, B., Marquardt, H., Groth, G. & Marquardt, H. (1988) The genotoxicity of lucidin, a natural component of Rubia tinctorum L., and lucidinethylether, a component of ethanolic Rubia extracts. Cell Biol. Toxicol., 4, 225–239.
Westendorf, J., Marquardt, H., Poginsky, B., Dominiak, M., Schmidt, J. & Marquardt, H. (1990) Genotoxicity of naturally occurring hydroxyanthraquinones. Mutat. Res., 240, 1–12.
Westendorf, J., Pfau, W. & Schulte, A. (1998) Carcinogenicity and DNA adduct formation observed in ACI rats after long-term treatment with madder root, Rubia tinctorum L. Carcinogenesis, 19, 2163–2168.
Yang, Y.J., Shu, H.Y. & Min, Z.D. (1992) Anthraquinones isolated from Morinda officinalis and Damnacanthus indicus. Yao Xue Xue Bao (Acta pharm. sin.), 27, 358–364