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  • Writer's pictureDeepak Goyal



Botanical name: Rauvolfia serpentina

English name: Indian snakeroot, Rauvolfia

Indian names: Sarpgandha, Chhota chand (Hindi), Naakuli, Candrika, Chandramarah (Sanskrit), Chandra (Bengali),

Indian snakeroot is a significant restorative plant in native frameworks of drugs. It is native to India and other tropical nations of Asia. Worldwide Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has announced it as an imperiled species. Indian snakeroot happens in the wet woodlands and obscure spots of tropical Himalayas and fields close to the lower regions up to an elevation of 1,300 m. It likewise happens along the Ghats in Kerala in South India. It is likewise appropriated to Malaysia and Java. Our antiquated composition Charaka Samhita (1000-800 B.C.) has depicted it as a cure against snake-nibble and bug stings. It discovers notice in numerous people legends in focal India. It has gained a vernacular name 'pagal-ki-dawaa' because of its corrective impact in craziness. The foundations of Indian snakeroot have been utilized in native customary medication for many years. Following the new logical exploration, it has likewise gained an extraordinary significance in modem therapeutics after the revelation of its different synthetic constituents.

The significance of Indian snakeroot can be decided from the way that Michael J. Balick and Paul A. Cox began their book 'Plants, People and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany' by citing old stories on this plant from India. They cited a legend that a mongoose feed on this plant prior to taking part in battle with cobras and local people likewise began utilizing this plant as a cure to snakebite.

Now and again, different types of Rauvolfia like R. tetraphylla and R. verticillata are utilized as debasements with exceptionally evaluated and uncommon R. serpentina (Indian snakeroot).


The nonexclusive name, Rauvolfia serpentina, was instituted by the French Botanist, Plumiers out of appreciation for notable sixteenth-century German doctor, botanist, explorer and creator Leonard Rauwolf. The particular sobriquet, serpentina, is gotten from snake-like foundations of this plant.

Indian snakeroot plant is a lasting, glabrous and less expanded undershrub developing to a tallness of up to 1 m. The root is bold, unpredictably nodular, less fanned, tube shaped, yellowish and developing to a profundity of up to 40 cm.


The underlying foundations of this plant have been utilized in India, Malaysia and Java from antiquated occasions as a cure to snakebite and the stings of bugs. It was utilized as a solution for fever and loose bowels in country India. Rumphius composed that it was utilized both inside just as remotely. Inside, it was controlled as a decoction of the root. Remotely, a mortar of the roots and new leaves was applied on the bottoms of the feet.

As of late, numerous ethnobotanical concentrates on Indian snakeroot have been done in numerous pieces of the country. These investigations have announced different uses, for example, in snakebite, a sleeping disorder, despondency, schizophrenia, craziness, tension, fervor, malarial fever, pneumonia, spleen illnesses, asthma, for uterine constrictions, opacities of the cornea, and so forth The roots with bark are gathered in pre-winter from 3-4 years of age plants for conventional use.

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