Rauwolfia serpentine (Apocynaceae) Benth. ex kurz.
Sanskrit/Indian name: Sarpagandha
The Sanskrit name for Rauwolfia, Sarpagandha, means ‘smelling like a snake’, which refers to the herb’s strong odor. The herb has a number of therapeutic benefits and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Rauwolfia is a central nervous system stimulant and also an anti-hypertensive. Its roots are known to treat intestinal disorders and also stimulate uterine contractions.
A number of different species of the Rauwolfia plant are found all over India.
Reserpine is the principal constituent of Rauwolfia. It is credited with tranquilizing and anti-hypertensive properties. The chemical constituent ajmaline has anti-arrhythmic properties, which suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart.
Key therapeutic benefits:
- Rauwolfia is a key herb in the treatment of mild to moderate hypertension.
- It is also beneficial in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like cholera and colic.
- The herb is also helpful in treating gynecological disorders like leukorrhea.