Sarpagandha is also known as ‘Indian snakeroot’, ‘Chandrabhaga’ or ‘Chhota Chandis’. It is an important medicinal plant distributed in the foot-hills of the Himalayan range. It has long tapering snake-like roots which are a rich source of reserpine alkaloids. This alkaloid is used in the manufacture of anti-hypertensive and sedative medicines. The roots are also used in Ayurvedic and other systems of medicines for curing a wide range of ailments.
The plant is used in the treatment of hypertension, anxiety, and insomnia. In the traditional medicinal system, it is also used orally for snake bites, insect bites, fever, constipation, and malaria. It is also considered useful in treating liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, edema, and epilepsy. Along with that, it also acts as a uterine stimulant which helps the uterus to contract.
In some cases, oral intake of Indian snakeroot may cause some side effects due to the presence of small amounts of harmful elements (like yohimbine). Most adverse effects with the use of Sarpagandha appear to be mild. Higher doses can cause cardiovascular side effects including bradycardia (slower than normal heart rate) and hypotension (low blood pressure). Also, its long-term use may cause depression in some people.
Sarpagandha : Rauwolfia Serpentina, Chandra, Chandrika, Chota-Chand, Pagla-Ka-Dawa, Patalagandhi, SnakeRoot, Snakewood