Sarpagandha, a rich medicinal shrub

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Dinesh Nayak M, Advisor (Green Belt), MSEZ

13 January 2011: Sarpagandha or garudapathala is an under shrub with simple leaves in whorls.


It has white flowers tinged with pink colour. Its drupes are purplish black or reddish when ripe.


The plants are over exploited from the wild due to its rich medicinal property and it has been included in the list of endangered species. Roots of the plant is being exported to foreign countries.


The air dried roots of the plant has several alkaloids and the most important among them is reserpine, which has a depressent action on the human central nervous system. It produces sedation and lowers the blood pressure.


The root of the plant is used in the treatment of insomnia, epilepsy, mental disorders, pain and poisoning.


While it is known as Sarpagandha or garudapathala in Kannada, the plant is known as sarapagandha and naagagandha in Sanskrit. In Malayalam it is known as amalapuri and sarpagandha. Meanwhile, in English it is known as small moon plant and snake dog bane. Its scientific name is rauvolfia serpentina and it belongs to Apocynaceae family.



Comments on this Article
Baptist Sequeira, Belle Fri, January-14-2011, 3:06
For the further information about Sarpagandha - This plant is called "Garadapathal" in Konkani. The taste of the roots and plant is bitter. This plant is exclusively used as the medicine for the treatment for the snake bite. This Plant has 2 types - one with white flowers and other with pinkish flowers. The reason to be called as sarpagandha in my place may be because the root at the deepest end just becomes like a Cobra Head. My mother and I were very fond of searching this plant. We have planted many plants in our garden in Kanarady.
Jennifer, Bantakal Thu, January-13-2011, 9:33
We have natures treasures all around us and we are highly ignorant about them. I have seen this plant around my house and never knew its medicinal values. I request Me. Dinesh and Bellevision team to have more articles on such plants so that we can value and preserve these plants.
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