Rauwolfia  serpentina Benth ex Kurz belongs to family Apocynaceae. It is commonly known in english as snake root and sarpagandha in sanskrit. It is indigenius to India. The plant is believed to have been used in Indian system of medicine for about 4000 years. It has been mentioned in Charaka’s work. It root has been valued in India and Malayan peninsula from ancient times as an antidote for the bites of poisonous reptlies and insects. Grows in waste places and shady forests in different parts of India . Leaves and root s are used for medicinal purpose
High blood pressure- Rauwolfia is an effective remedy for hypertension and it has been adapted by medical fraternity in most countries. Half a teaspoon of the root powder taken thrice a day is effective in relieving hypertension. In homoeopathic system of medicine also use this remedy for hypertension. Tincture 10 drops three times a day is found to be very effective.
Reserpine was found to be the most active principle responsible for the anti hypertensive and tranquilizing properties of the plant. The other alkaloids- ajmalicine, deserpidine, rescinnamine and sepentine also show similar properties with reduced activity. Ajamaline in combination with other hypotensive agents is used in the treatment of hypertension complicated with arrhythmia
Insanity- Rauwolfia is effective in treating insanity. One gram of the powdered root can be taken twice a day with goat’s milk , sweetened with sugar candy . Every one suffering from insanity will not however be beneficial by rauwolfia , except those extremely irritable patients with strong physique. Lean weak and melancholic patients should have their blood pressure examined before the treatment and if found abnormally high, rauwolfia can be tried. It is unsuitable for persons with  alow blood pressure
Hysteria- Rauwolfia is very effective in treating hysteria. One gram of powdered root can be administered thrice with milk. Treatment should be continued till a complete cure is obtained.
Itches-Rauwolfia relieves itching in urticaria. One gram of the powdered root can be taken with water
Digestive system- It acts as an appetizer, digestive, cholagogue, anthelmintic. Hence it is used in loss of appetite , helminthiasis . For pain in abdomen one part of rauwolfia root, two parts bark of kutaja and three parts of roots of castor mixed with milk is given
Reproductive system- It reduces libido and increases menstrual bleeding. So it is used for priapism-painful erection, and excessive libido. It reduces pain of dysmenorrhea . It is also used  to increase uterine contractions during labor 

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