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Sarpagandha is an erect, evergreen, and flowering shrubthat has had many medicinal usesfor over 2,000 years,especiallyits sedative actions and ability to lower blood pressure.

Scientific Name: Rauvolfia/Rauvolfiaserpentina

Common/Other Names:Indian snakeroot, Devil peppers,Insanity herb,Sepentina root, Black snakeroot, Rauwolfia root, Chandrika,pagal-ki-dawa (medicine for the mentally ill), Chhota chaand, Black Indian snakeroot

Flowers:white, often tinged with violet;may also appearpinkish-white

Bloom Time:March to May in Indian conditions


tiny, oval, fleshy; turn a shiny purple-black when ripe
drupe, single or didymous, shining black, with red pedicels and calyx and white corolla

leaves appear in whorls of 3
thin, lanceolate, and acute
bright-green above and pale beneath
Maximum Reachable Height:1 to 3 feet

Difficulty to Grow:easy to grow

Sunlight:full sun

Soil: regular but well-drained

Water:about twice a week;water till the soil is fully moist, and then wait for the soil to dry a little before watering again

Fertiliser:use any organic fertiliser once a month during summers


Women who are pregnant, may be pregnant, or plan pregnancy in the near future should not consume Rauvolfia plants or preparations made from them.
They may also be harmful for people with any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract
No "safe" dosage has been established.
It can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Side effects of excessive use, due to powerful chemicals present like reserpine, include nausea, vomiting, nasal congestion, and loss of appetite. Before you begin chewing on Indian snakeroot, speak to a trained herbalist or your medical practitioner to ensure that youre a good candidate and are receiving a properly prepared herb.
Culinary Uses:none known

Ornamental Use: The leaves and flowers of this herb are very ornamental.

Special/Useful/Other Features:The bark, leaves, and roots are used against snake and scorpion poisoning.

Medicinal Uses:

high blood pressure
trouble sleeping (insomnia)
joint pains
liver problems
mental disorders such as schizophrenia
mild high blood pressure
spasms in the legs due to poor circulation
other conditions

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