Home Herbs A to Z SARPAGANDHA (Rauwolfia serpentine)

SARPAGANDHA (Rauwolfia serpentine)

SARPAGANDHA –Rauwolfia serpentine

 It is an important plant used in the Ayurvedic treatments. It is commonly known as snake dog bane. It is also known as Small moon plant. The plant prefers to grow in mountain or hilly areas, so it is called as Nakuli in Sanskrit. It has antitoxic property, hence it is known as Vishanasini.


Dr.Gupta’s IAFA has been constantly working on the plantSarpagandha for discovering more medicinal properties the plant. Through the various studies done by our experts found out that the plant possesses antihypertensive, anti diabetic, hypolipidemic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The methanolic extract of leaves shows antioxidant activity. The aqueous extracts of the leaves of the plant shows antihypertensive property.

Action of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina in Allergies

IAFA has been conducting various studies on Sarpagandha found out the antiallergic and anti-inflammatory actions of the plant. The various chemical constituents present in this plant shows anti-inflammatory activity. Sarpagandha is very useful in skin diseases by its anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine activity.

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical NameRauwolfia serpentina
Native Names
Sanskrit NameSarpagandha Nakuli
Hindi NameNagulakand 
English NameSnake dog bane, Small moon plant
Malayalam Namechuvannavilpuri
Kannada NameSarpagandha 
Telungu NameDumparasna 

Ayurveda reference of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentine

Morphology of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

  • Small erect shrub
  • Bark – pale rarely lenticellate
  • Leaves – whorls of three, lanceolate, acute acuminate, bright green
  • Flowers- white, often tinged with violet, corymbose cyme
  • Calyx – glabrous, bright red, segments 2-5 mm long and lanceolate
  • Corolla –1 cm long, tube slender, swollen a little above the middle.
  • Fruits – drupe, purplish black when ripe.

Geographical distribution of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

The plant Sarpagandha grows in mountains and hilly regions. It is distributed in India, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, Japan etc.

Phytoconstituents of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

The phytoconstituents present in the plant Sarpagandha are reserpine, reserpiline, serpentine, deserpidine, ajmaline, rescinnamine etc.

Parts used of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

  • Root  

Dosage of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

  • Root powder – 3-5 gms

Medicinal Properties of Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

  • Dipana – increases digestive fire
  • Pachana – digests undigested food
  • Krimighna – relieves worm infestation
  • Vedanasthapana- relieves pain
  • Nidrajanana- induces sleep
  • Jvaraghna – relieves fever

Home remedies ofSarpagandha – Rauwolfia serpentina

In Ayurveda the treatment of different kinds of diseases are done by naturally availing non toxic drugs. We are continuously working on these plants to find out its pharmacological actions. IAFA have done so many studies on the plant Sarpagandha and found out that it has wide range of actions. Some of the home remedies are given below.

  • Hypertension – 5 gm of root powder is taken along with hot water in the early morning.
  • Diarrhea – 10 gm of root powder taken along with honey for 3 days.
  • Fever – 40 gm of root powder mixed with 200 ml of water, boiled and reduced to 100 ml and taken internally for 5 days along with ½ teaspoon of ginger juice.
  • Poisonous insect’s sting –Paste made with root of Sarpagandha and turmeric is applied over affected part.
  • Skin diseases –15 gm of root powder is mixed with 2 glass of water, boiled and reduced to 1 glass and taken internally for 7 days along with Tulasi juice.
  • Constipation –10 gm of root powder mixed with ½ glass of luke warm water taken internally for 3 days.
  • Insomnia – 10gm of root powder is taken along with cold water at night.
  • Goiter- 5 gm of root powder is taken internally along with 10 ml of juice of Kanchanara for 9 days.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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