Medicinal Properties & Use Of Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina)

There are many herbs which are using by our ancestors from last thousand of years and Rauvolfia serpentina or Sarpagandha is one of them. As per use concern It is the main anti hypertensive drug using by Ayurvedic Acharyas. But it having some more potent actions in the body and that we should know. It is also known as Indian snakeroot. In Chinese folk medicines it plays a great role.

Scientific Name:

  • Rauvolfia serpentina 

Common Names of Rauvolfia serpentina:


  1. Chota-Chand,
  2. Dhaval-Barua,
  3. Dhanmarua,
  4. Chandmarua,
  5. Isargaj,
  6. Patala Garuda,
  7. Chivan,
  8. Amalpodi,
  9. Chivan
  10. Avalpori
  11. Patalagani
  12. Chandar,
  13. Adkayi,
  14. Amelpodi

Part Used:


  • Root

Chemical Compositions of Rauvolfia serpentina:

There are plenty of alkaloids present in this plant, which of them are beneficial. The most common alkaloids are as follows.

  1. Ajmalicidine,
  2. Indobinine,
  3. Reserpiline,
  4. Ajmalicine,
  5. Rouhimbine,
  6. Reserpine,
  7. Sarpagine,
  8. Serpentine,
  9. Serpentinine,
  10. Ajmalimine,
  11. Ajmaline,
  12. Yohimbine,
  13. Rauwolfinine,
  14. Sandwicolidine,
  15. Serpinine

Interesting Facts about Rauvolfia serpentina:


  1. Mahatma Gandhi used to use to take sarpagandha on regular basis as tranquilizer.
  2. The Great Alexander used it for treating his army from deadly arrows made by venomous snake poisons.
  3. It is an evergreen plant and commonly seen in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
  4. It is a native of China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and India.
  5. In India, it is commonly seen in Hill foot of Himalayas and Western Ghats, but well distributed now due to commercial productions.
  6. The Wood is that we get from this plant is very popular among woodcarving and wood turning hobbyists.

Medicinal Properties & Uses of Rauvolfia serpentina:

It is a potent anti-hypertensive herb actually its alkaloid reduces the heart rate and thus reduces the high blood pressure.
It is very much useful in Insomnia
It is very much useful in mental disorders.
It is having antibacterial property.
It is helpful in treating ulcers as it promotes quick healing.
It is useful in treating worm infestation.
It is useful in schizophrenia.
It is good for relieving giddiness.
It is good for relieving vertigo.
It is good for relieving hysteria.
It is good for treating allergic reactions in skin,
It is useful in the treatment of insect bite (It minimizes the toxic effects).
It is useful in the treatment of scorpion bite (It minimizes the toxic effects).
It is useful in the treatment of rat bite (It minimizes the toxic effects).
It having uterine contraction properties, which are ideal for inducing labour pains.
It is good for management of sunburn of skin.
It contracts uterus and induces menstruation.
It is used in the treatment of epilepsy.
It is goof for anxiety.
It is a good for premature ejaculation.
It is good for constipation.
It is good for the treatment of edema.
It is good for the treatment of chronic fever.
It is good for the treatment of joint pains.

Side Effects of Rauvolfia serpentina:

Ayurvedic Drugs Having No Side Effects ” this a very poor concepts but that is half true. In cases of Sarpagandha there are plenty of side effects if it is not used carefully, so let us check out.

  1. Vomiting
  2. Vertigo
  3. Nausea
  4. Diarrhoea
  5. Convulsion
  6. Drowsiness
  7. Excessive Sleep
  8. Abortion 

Precautions For Rauvolfia serpentina:


  1. Self-medication is always dangerous; please always consult your Ayurvedic Doctor before taking any kind of medicine.
  2. It having uterine contraction properties that are why it is not ideal for pregnant women because it induces uterine contraction with labour pain and that can cause abortion.
  3. It is not indicated for depression.
  4. It can reduce BP in extreme if proper monitoring is not done.
  5. It is not indicated for children Ø It is better not to use by the people who consumes alcohol regularly in huge amount.
  6. Patients suffering from Gastritis or Acid Peptic Disorder should avoid it.
  7. Lactating mothers should not use it.
  8. If you are planning for any surgery then please avoid it from few days before as a precautionary measure.
  9. If you deals with heavy machineries or works near any extreme heat or fire then please do not take it before work hours.
  10. If you are suffering from gallstone then please avoid it.
  11. It can induce so never sit on the driver’s seat after taking this medicine.

Preparations of Rauvolfia serpentina:


  1. Sarpagandha Ghana Vati.
  2. Sarpagandha Choorna.
  3. Cap. Sarpagandha
  4. Serpina (Himalaya)
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