Rauvolfia serpentina

Rauvolfia serpentina (L.)

Family     : Apocynaceae 

Common Name  :സർപ്പഗന്ധി(Mal)

        सर्पगंधा (Hin)

                                 Indian Snakeroot(Eng)

Sarpagandha is a famous tranquilizer and antipsychotic herb of India for the treatment of paranoia and schizophrenia, as well as a substance that controls hypertension. Sarpagandha is an erect, evergreen shrub, merely 15 to 45 cm high. Its leaves are large, in whorls of three - dark green above and pale green below. The flowers are white, pinkish or red, occurring in whorls. Its fruit are tiny, oval, fleshy which turn a shiny purple-black when ripe

Perennial subshrubs, rootstock thick, sap watery. Leaves simple, whorled, 3-4 at each node, 7-10 x 3 cm, oblanceolate, acuminate at both ends, glabrous; lateral nerves 8-12 pairs; petiole to 8 mm long. Flowers white, often tinged with pale violet in axillary and terminal, densely flowered corymbose cymes; peduncles to 5 cm long; pedicel 3-5 mm long. Sepals 4 mm long, oblong, acute. Corolla tube 15 mm long, slender, swollen little above the middle; lobes 5 mm long, oblong, obtuse. Disk copular, membraneous. Capsules 5 mm, ovoid, obtuse, black; fruiting calyx crimson.


The roots are hypnotic, hypotensive and sedative.The bark, leaves, and roots are used against snake and scorpion poisoning.The alkaloid rauwolfine has been shown to decrease the heart rate.


South and south east Asia

Flowering & Fruiting :