Sarpagandhi (Rauwolfia serpentina) is an Ayurvedic herb, effective in reducing high blood pressure. The term sarpagandhi means something that has the smell (gandha) of a snake (sarpa). It is used in the treatment of snake bites and also for mental illnesses.
An extract from sarpagandhi root, named reserpine is used in the mental clinics as an alternative to electric shock treatment.Rauwolfia serpentine is in the plant family apocynaceae
This plant is used medicinally both in the Modern Western Medical system and also in Ayurveda, unani and folk medicine. It helps to reduce blood pressure, depresses activity of central nervous system and acts as a hypnotic.
Snakeroot depletes catecholamines and serotonin from nerves in central nervous system. Refined snakeroot has been used extensively in recent years to treat hypertension. It is used as an antidote to the bites of poisonous reptile like snakes. It is also used to treat dysentery and other painful affections of the intestinal canal.