Madder is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.

People use madder for conditions such as kidney stones, menstrual disorders, urinary tract disorders, wound healing, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Using madder can also be unsafe.
When taken by mouth: Madder is LIKELY UNSAFE. The chemicals in madder may cause cancer. Madder can also cause urine, saliva, perspiration, tears, and breast milk to turn red in color.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if madder is safe. Some people are allergic to madder when it touches the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to take madder by mouth if you are pregnant. It might start your menstrual period and that could cause a miscarriage. Madder might also cause birth defects.

It's also UNSAFE to use madder if you are breast-feeding. It might harm the nursing baby, and it might turn breast milk red.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Kidney stones.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Urinary problems.
  • Blood disorders.
  • Bruises.
  • Jaundice.
  • Paralysis.
  • Spleen disorders.
  • Pain along the sciatic nerve (sciatica).
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of madder for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate dose of madder depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for madder. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Some chemicals in madder might help prevent kidney stones. Madder might also slow down the intestines to treat diarrhea. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 31/07/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 30/11/2021 04:07:36. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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