“Rauvolfia is a perennial undershrub widely distributed in India in the sub- Himalayan tracts upto 1,000 m as well as, in the lower ranges of the Eastern and Western Ghats and in the Andamans.
It is an herbaceous perennial with a long, vertical, yellowish, somewhat tuberous, nodular rootstock and simple, woody stems, 30—60 cm high.The main biomedical action of the roots are alterative, antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, hypotensive, nervine, sedative and vasodilatory. Roots are sedative due to presence of several alkaloids and used in treatment of mild to moderate hypertension (high blood pressure), stress, certain forms of insanity, insomnia and cardiac oedema. The bark, leaves, and roots are used against snake and scorpion poisoning. The juice of the leaves is used as a remedy for the removal of opacities of the cornea.n Ayurvedic formulations, Sarpagandha is prescribed in treatment of high blood pressure, insomnia, asthma, acute stomach ache and painful delivery and for mental illness (neuropsychiatric disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia). It is used in snake-bite, insect stings, and mental disorders.Sarpagandha, is also used in treatment of other diseases such as gastric tumor, general weakness, goiter, hysteria, insomnia, insanity, lipoma, paraplegia, paratyphoid, piles, pneumonia, splenomegaly, stomach disorder, tonsillitis, traumatic wound, tuberculosis and vertigo and pain in abdomen, body, and chest.There is no doubt that Sarpgandha lowers blood pressure. It dilates blood vessel and has sedative effects. But it also causes many side effects. For example, alkaloid Reserpine has potent hypotensive and tranquillizer effect but its prolonged usage stimulates prolactine release and causes breast cancer. There are many other side effects of this herb including muscles relaxation, decrease of fertility, lowering of male hormones, abnormal heart rhythm, acidosis and shock. It must not be taken in ulcers, ulcerative colitis and depression.”