Pharmacobotanical and pharmacological evaluation of ayurvedic crude drug: Rauwolfia serpentina (Apocynaceae)

Amrinder Kaur


Rauwolfia serpentina has been used since pre-vedic period for the treatment of snake bite (sarpadansh), insect stings, hypertension (Rakta Capa Vriddhi), insomnia (anidra), psychological disorders (manovikar), gastrointestinal disorders (Amashay gata roga), epilepsy (apasmar), wounds (vrana), fever (jwara), and schizophrenia (unmada). It is a large glabrous herb or shrub, belonging to family Apocynaceae, and found in the Assam, Pegu, Himalayas, Java, Tennasserim, Deccan, Peninsula, Bihar, and the Malay Peninsula. It is a source of many phytoconstituents including alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, glycosides, phlobatannins, phenols, resins, saponins sterols, tannins, and terpenes. The main alkaloid of R. serpentina is reserpine. It exerts antihypertensive property by depleting the catecholamine which is the main action of the plant. Besides, many studies have been describing multidimensional pharmacological activities of the R. serpentina. Hence, the present review describes ancient to modern approach based on pharmacobotanical and pharmacological studies of R. serpentina.

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