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Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina): Health Benefits, Ayurvedic Uses, Dosage And Side Effects


In today's day-to-day life Not only in India but all over the World, Cardiovascular disease is common and is one of the serious health issues in society among adults and ⅓ of the deaths are recorded annually. Sarpangandha is well known for its medicinal properties which are used worldwide for High Blood Pressure. In classical Sanskrit Name, it gets translated to SnakeRoot whose plants are twisted and coiled like a snake. Sarpagandha is well documented in our ancient Ayurvedic texts of Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and in Ashtanga Hridaya which are helpful in many infections and in diseases. However, all the gender and people of all age groups are getting great benefits from Sarpagandha. Further in this article, we are going to discuss its place of origin, Morphology, chemical constituents and its ayurvedic properties which are helpful for humans in this article.

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Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) is a popular herb which is available in the form of Tablets, Capsules and in the form of Powder. It is an evergreen, Erect Perennial shrub which grows at a height of 60 cm. There are the majority of health issues such as Coronary artery disease and heart failure and the primary factor is high Blood pressure. One miraculous herb which is helpful in managing hypertension. Sarpagandha is also helpful with other wide range of nervous systems and mental health. Rauwolfia is an evergreen shrub which is a member of the Apocynaceae family and more than 100 species are included in the Rauwolfia genus.

Synonyms Of Sarpagandha

  • Nakuli
  • Sarpachhatrikka
  • Varshaasu
  • Chandramara
  • Dhavala
  • Sarpasugan sugandha
  • Mukta
  • Nakulesta
  • Chhatikara

Botanical Distribution Of Sarpagandha

  • Sarpagandha is a glabrous shrub which has red colour pedicles and calyx. Calyx is bright red in colour.
  • Leaves - The pattern of leaves is whorls 3-4 which are opposite in structure. They are bright green in colour above and pale green below. The base of the leaves is slender and tapering in nature. Petioles are long in length.  
  • Flowers - They are white or violet in colour and contain nectar in the corolla tubes. It has irregular corymbose cymes, Corolla is tube-like and has a white fang with a red colour.
  • Fruits - Fruit is purple-black in colour when it ripens. They are oval and tiny in shape.
  • Fruits are found throughout the year in the months of February - May.

Production Technology

  1. Climate -
    • Temperature - 10-35 degrees
    • Rainfall - 2500mm
    • Sowing Temperature - 25-35 degrees
    • Harvesting Temperature - 10-20 degrees
  2. Soil - It grows in Red Lateritic loamy soil to Sandy loamy soil. It gets good results when it contains humus and various nitrogenous substances. Grows best in pH ranges from 4.6 to 6.5.
  3. Land Preparation - It requires well-prepared land and ploughing is done which provides proper nutrients and growth to enrich the soil.
  4. Sowing - Propagation is done through seeds and the stem cutting is cultivated in the month of June, root cutting propagation is done in March-June month.

Geographical Distribution

This plant is found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma as well as in Thailand. In India, it is distributed in the sub-Himalayan tract from Punjab to Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. It is also found in the lower hills of Gangetic plains, Andaman, Eastern and Western Ghats. In India, it is found in moist deciduous forests and shady areas at a height of 4,000 feet above sea level. This plant is never growing in bulk at a single place. In short, it is widely cultivated in many parts of India.

Vernacular Names Of Sarpagandha

  • English Name - Serpentina root, Indian snakeroot, Rauwolfia root, serpentine root
  • Hindi Name - Chota chand, Hrakai chand, Nayi, Nakulikand, Nkulkanda, Rasnabhed
  • Kannada Name - Sarpagandhi, Chandrika, Sutranabhi, Patala garuda.
  • Bihari Name - Chandmarua, Dhanmarua, Dhanbarua, Dhavalbarua, Sanachando, Isargaj
  • Telugu Name - Dumparasna, Patala Garuda, Patalagani, Patalagaruda, Patalagandhi, Padagpuchahv
  • Bengali Name - Chandar, Nakuli, Chotachand, Chandra Nolbel ,Gandrasana, Sugandhanakuli
  • Marathi Name - Adkayi, Adakayi, Chotachand, Harki, Sapasanda,
  • Gujarati Name Amelpodi, Amelpadi, Norbal
  • Tamil Name - Carpakanta, Covanna Milpadi, Sivan amalpodi, Savannamibori, Covanna milpori, Sarppaganti, Civan amal podi.
  • Malayalam Name - Amalpori, Chivan amalpodi, Civan amalpadi Chivan Avalpori, Tullunni, Chuvanna avilpori, Chuvanna amalpari

Phytochemical Constituents Of Sarpagandha

Rauwolfia serpentina comprises many bioactive chemicals with more than 50 different alkaloids. Out of 50 alkaloids, the main alkaloids present are ajmaline, ajmalicine, indoline, indefinite, ajmaline, serpentine, serpentinine, deserpidine, reserpine, reserpiline, rescinnamine, yohimbine and yohimbine. Reserpine is quite a useful alkaloid of this plant. About 90 per cent of these alkaloids are found in the tuberous roots of this plant.

Ayurvedic Properties For Sarpagandha

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta Taste Bitter
Guna Rooksha Physical Property Dry
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent
Prabhav Nidrajanan Special Effect Induces sleep

Effect On Doshas

It has a strong ability to balance aggravated Vata and Kapha doshas, thus energizing the Pitta doshas thus regulating the Pitta doshas. The root has a dry property (rooksha guna) which is heat heat-inducing property (Ushna) and thus has various powerful medicinal properties such as Anti-hypertensive, Sedative, Anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory traits.

Therapeutic Uses Of Sarpagandha

  • Vranahara - Heals wounds quickly
  • Krumihara - In Infestation of worms
  • Vishama Jwara - In chronic fever
  • Satmikaran - Is the antidote to snake bite
  • Deepan - Increases digestive fire
  • Pachana - Digests the food
  • Vedanasthapana - Relieve Pain
  • Nidrajanana - Induces sleep
  • Useful in decreasing blood pressure
  • Contracts uterus and induces menstruation
  • Suppresses early ejaculation
  • Useful in depression
  • Helpful in Epilepsy, Panic attacks and anxiety

Benefits Of Sarpagandha

  • Lower High Blood Pressure - A constituent of sarpagandha is Resperine which is a lipid-soluble can easily cross blood-brain barrier and lower the activity of nervous system and results in decreased blood pressure, cardiac output.
  • For Insomnia - It is rich in alkaloids (Reserpine) which have soothing properties which balance the central nervous system. Sarapagandha Pacify the mind and promotes deep sleep. Sarpagandha reduces the Adrenaline and Noradrenaline in the nerves which reduces anxiety and improves mental health, decreases sleep problems like Insomnia.
  • High-Grade Fever - Sarpagandha has antipyretic and analgesic properties which when ingested with Coconut water is helpful in reducing the body temperature to a normal range.
  • Pacify stomach infections - Sarpagandha has various antimicrobial properties which when taken with Honey or water are more useful in treating various infections. Promotes healthy digestion, reduces the stool frequency and regulates the normal bowel movement.
  • For skin - Sarpagandha has anti-inflammatory properties which when directly applied to the skin is useful in repairing damaged tissues and other conditions.
  • For muscle spasms- Sarpagandha has vasodilating property which expands the blood cells and provides proper circulation to the body parts
  • For the digestive system - Tikta and Ushna guna it is well known for their appetiser, digestive and cholagogue properties. If there is pain in the abdomen then add Sarpagandha roots (1 part), 2 parts of Kutaja and 3 parts of Castor Oil when mixed with Milk.

Side Effects

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Headache
  • Chest Pain
  • Skin Rashes
  • Drowsiness
  • Convulsion

Planet Ayurveda's Products Which Contain Sarpagandha As An Ingredient


Home Remedies From Sarpagandha

  1. Hypertension - 5 gm of powder of Sarpagandha roots when taken with Hot water used in the early morning useful remedy for Hypertension.
  2. Diarrhoea - 10 gm of root when taken with honey is helpful in Diarrhoea.
  3. Fever - 40 gm of root and 200 ml of water when mixed and taken internally for 5 days along with Ginger juice
  4. Poisonous Insect Sting - The paste made of Sarpagandha mixed with turmeric is applied to the affected area.
  5. Constipation - 10 grams of powder taken along with Lukewarm water is taken internally for 3 days to cure constipation.
  6. Goiter - 5gm of root when taken internally with 10 ml juice of Kanchnaar for 9 days is useful in Goiter.
  7. Insomnia - 10 g of root taken with cold water during sleep is useful in Insomnia.

Part Used

Roots and Leaves of Sarpagandha are used.


  • Roots powder should be --- (for normalizing high blood pressure) - 1-2 gm.
  • For restlessness, anxiety and inducing sleep - 3-6 gm.


1. What is High Blood Pressure?

It is a common condition which affects the arteries when the force of blood against the walls of arteries is much higher 140/90 mmHg or higher.

2. What are the causes of High Blood Pressure?

  • Obesity
  • Family history of blood pressure
  • High salt intake and low potassium diet
  • Various Chronic conditions such as heart problems
  • Too much alcohol
  • Disorders of the adrenal gland
  • Thyroid disease

3. How Sarpagandha is helpful in reducing Blood Pressure?

Sarpagandha has a wonderful property which is useful in managing hypertension, as it relaxes the blood vessels and regulates the function of nerves in muscles which leads to the heart. Sarpagandha is useful in lowering the circulation of blood through the normal passages of the heart.

4. How can we stop High Blood Pressure?

  • Eat a healthy diet such as have fresh fruits (Banana, Apple, Papaya, Pineapple, Pears, Kiwi, Pear)
  • Have Dark green leafy vegetables, Bottle gourd, Ridge gourd, Round gourd.
  • Maintains a healthy weight and keeps yourself active
  • Gets enough sleep
  • Avoid having Dairy products, Cocoa butter, Alcohol, Coffee and hot chocolate drinks. 
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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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