Rauwolfia Serpentina

Rauvolfia serpentina, or ' Indian snakeroot' or 'sarpagandha' is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and East a Rauvolfia serpentina contains a number of bioactive chemicals, including yohimbine, reserpine, ajmaline, deserpidine, rescinnamine, serpentinine.

The extract of the plant has also been used for millennia in India – Alexander the Great administered this plant to cure his general Ptolemy I Soter of a poisoned arrow. It was reported that Mahatma Gandhi took it as a tranquilizer during his lifetime. It has been used for millennia to treat insect stings and the bites of venomous reptiles.

A compound which it contains called reserpine, was used in an attempt to treat high blood pressure and mental disorders including schizophrenia, and had a brief period of popularity for that purpose in the West from 1954 to 1957.

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