Rauvolfia serpentina

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Flowers of Snakeroot.
Species name: Rauwolfia serpentina

Rauvolfia serpentina or snakewood is a plant native to India. The genus is also called Rauwolfia, but the name Rauvolfia is the one accepted by the Species 2000 project, an official international species nomenclature agency. Rauvolfia serpentina is a popular folk medicine for diabetes and high blood pressure. It also has tranquilizing properties and is used as an antipsychotic drug, for curing schizophrenia and against snakebites.


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm, shwetankverma
Date on which this page was first created 2010/08/20
This page was last modified on: 6 September 2010 15:38:40
Name of the species Rauwolfia serpentina
ID on Encyclopedia of Life
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Indian snakeroot, Serpentine wood
Common Hindi Names सर्पगंधा Sarpagandha
Common Indian names सर्पगंधा Sarpagandha,छोटा चँाद Chota-chand, चंदराभंगा chandrabhaga (Hindi); chundrika, sarpagandha (Sanskrit); സര്‍പ്പഗന്ധി (Malayalam) Encyclopedia of Life
Origins/Meanings of the common names The extract of the plant has also been used for millennia in India — Alexander the Great administered this plant to cure his general Ptolemy of a poisoned arrow. It was reported that Mahatma Gandhi took it as a tranquilizer during his lifetime. Wikipedia

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

If nothing is displayed in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined. Please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:}} 

Taxonomy filled in form

Angiosperm phylogeny. This image is copyrighted. Rights owned by Theodore C.H.Cole (Heidelberg) and Hartmut H. Hilger (Berlin) 2010. Please obtain copyright permissions before reuse.
Click here for the PDF of the phylogeny
Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Gentianales
Family Apocynaceae
Genus Rauvolfia
Source of data '

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivisionCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aloe veraAloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plantGheekumari घीकुमारी
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaAshokaअशोक Ashok
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliophytaAlso called Angiospermae. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-100 million years ago.These are seed plants like Gymnosperms, but can be differentiated by the presence of flowers, seeds containing endosperm and seeds that produce a fruit. Angiosperms are the most diverse and highly evolutionarily successful group of land plants.
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaMagnoliopsidaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaMagnoliopsidaAshokaअशोक Ashok
Adansonia digitataMagnoliopsidaBaobabGorakh imli गोरख इमली
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliopsidaMagnoliopsida is the scientific name for dicots. This class contains about ~1,99,350 species of Angiosperms. Eudicots are a subset of Dicots. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences, the divergence date between monocots and dicots is estimated to be ~200 million years, with a 40 million years uncertainty.Dicots are diverse in habit, with half of all the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of the usual presence of a vascular cambium in the class. Annuals, biennials, vines, epiphytes, aquatics, parasites, and saprotrophs are also well represented in dicots. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually borne in a ring that encloses the pith. Vessel elements present except in some putatively primitive woody or aquatic families. Most dicots have a primary root system derived from the radicle, although some have an adventitious root system commonly seen in the class of monocots. Cotyledons are usually 2, seldom 1, 3, or 4. Leaves are mostly net-veined.
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Rauvolfia serpentinaGentianalesIndian snakeroot, Serpentine woodसर्पगंधा Sarpagandha
Calotropis proceraGentianalesRubber bush, apple of SodomAak आक, Mudar मुदर
Catharanthus pusillusGentianalesTiny Periwinkle, Tiny Vincaसान्ग्खी Sangkhi
… further results
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Rauvolfia serpentinaApocynaceaeIndian snakeroot, Serpentine woodसर्पगंधा Sarpagandha
Catharanthus pusillusApocynaceaeTiny Periwinkle, Tiny Vincaसान्ग्खी Sangkhi
Catharanthus roseusApocynaceaeTiny Periwinkle, Vincaसदाबहार Sadabaha
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Rauvolfia serpentinaRauvolfiaIndian snakeroot, Serpentine woodसर्पगंधा Sarpagandha

Based on classification

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Morphology from Encyclopedia of Life

If nothing is displayed in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined. Please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

{{#EoLOnlyDescription:}} 

General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the plant A small shrub 50-60 cm high, branches simple and glabrous. Leaves whorled, usually 3, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate, 7-16 x 2.5-5 cm, acute or acuminate, entire, dark green above and pale green beneath, membranous, with 8-12 pairs of lateral nerves, petiole 5-15 mm long, with glands in the leaf axils. Inflorescence of terminal or axillary, many-flowered much branched cymes, peduncle 2.5-10 cm long, pedicel c. 5 mm long, red, bract minute, acute, triangular, bright red. Flowers pink, c. 1 cm across. Calyx c. 2.5 mm long, ovate or lanceolate, acute, equalling the tube. Corolla tube 8-12 mm long, inflated in the middle, throat hairy, lobes spreading, 4 mm long, overlapping to the left in bud, stamens inserted in the middle of the corolla. Disc conspicuous, cupshaped, style filiform, stigma capitate. Fruit c. 8 mm in diameter, 2 separate or in two lobes, red, ovoid, pointed, turning shining black when fully mature."A small shrub 50-60 cm high, branches simple and glabrous. Leaves whorled, usually 3, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate, 7-16 x 2.5-5 cm, acute or acuminate, entire, dark green above and pale green beneath, membranous, with 8-12 pairs of lateral nerves, petiole 5-15 mm long, with glands in the leaf axils. Inflorescence of terminal or axillary, many-flowered much branched cymes, peduncle 2.5-10 cm long, pedicel c. 5 mm long, red, bract minute, acute, triangular, bright red. Flowers pink, c. 1 cm across. Calyx c. 2.5 mm long, ovate or lanceolate, acute, equalling the tube. Corolla tube 8-12 mm long, inflated in the middle, throat hairy, lobes spreading, 4 mm long, overlapping to the left in bud, stamens inserted in the middle of the corolla. Disc conspicuous, cupshaped, style filiform, stigma capitate. Fruit c. 8 mm in diameter, 2 separate or in two lobes, red, ovoid, pointed, turning shining black when fully mature." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. Encylopedia of Life
Seed dispersal mechanism Entomophily (By insects)
Bloom type Perennial
Life cycle of the plant

How to identify this species

For a detailed description, refer to the General Morphology details above

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Type of plant Woody (Tree/Shrub)
Plant height Up to 3 feet EoL
Flower color Pink Wikipedia, EoL
Flower shape
Floral symmetry
Phyllotaxy of leaves
Leaf shape Ovate
Is the leaf petiolated or sessile?
Is the leaf simple or compound?

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status
Indian States in which the species has been documented Assam,Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Dadra and Nagar Haveli,Goa,Gujarat,Karnataka,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,Meghalaya,Punjab,Sikkim,Tamil Nadu,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited Northeastern Himalayas, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, Central Deccan Plateau, Indo-Gangetic Plain, Outlying Islands Based on Sasya Sampada
Details about the habitat Forests, Evergreen and deciduous forests, slopes of ghats, open areas, undergrowth in semi-evergreen forests, cultivated fields and plains. Sasya Sampada
Is this species native to India? Yes Wikipedia
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats?

More plants native to India

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi namePlant typeNative plantBiotic zone
Abelmoschus moschatusOkra, Abelmosk, Ambrette seeds, Annual hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk mallow, Musk okra, Musk seeds, Ornamental okra, Rose mallow seeds, Tropical jewel hibiscus, Yorka okraमुश्कदाना Mushkdana, कस्तूरीदाना Kasturi-dana, जंगली भिंडी Jangli bhindi
Acacia concinnaSoap podशिकाकाई ShikakaiWoody (Tree/Shrub)Northeastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats
Central Deccan Plateau
East Coast
West Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Acrostichum aureumGolden leatherfern, Mangrove fernFernNortheastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
East Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Outlying Islands
Aegle marmelosBel, Beli fruit, Bengal quince, Stone apple, Wood appleबेल Bel
Allium sativumCultivated Garlicलेह्सन Lehsan
… further results

If no maps are displayed below, it means the required data is absent. Click on "Edit with form" button on top of the page to add this information.
{{#generateMap:Assam,Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Dadra and Nagar Haveli,Goa,Gujarat,Karnataka,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,Meghalaya,Punjab,Sikkim,Tamil Nadu,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal|Rauwolfiaserpentina_brahma.svg|align=center}}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any medicinal use? Yes

Other plants of the same family having medicinal use:

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi nameFamilyAilment typeMedicinal use description
Catharanthus roseusTiny Periwinkle, Vincaसदाबहार SadabahaApocynaceaeOrgan-specific disorders
Cancer
Rauvolfia serpentinaIndian snakeroot, Serpentine woodसर्पगंधा SarpagandhaApocynaceaeInfectious diseases
Systemic disorders
Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General types of ailments this species is used for treating Infectious diseases, Systemic disorders
Specific ailments for which the species is used hypertension, antidote to the bites of poisonous reptiles like snakes, dysentery, cholera
Medicinal systems which use this plant Ayurveda, Folk Medicine
Details of Medicinal use
Parts of the plant used for treatment Root, Stem, Leaves
Names of some medicinal active compounds in this plant, if known. Ajmaline, Deserpidine, Rescinnamine, Serpentinine, Reserpine, Ajmalicine, Isoajmaline, Ajmalinine, Chandrine, Rauwolfinine, Renoxidine, Rescin-namine, Reserpiline, sarpagine, tetraphyllicine, yohimbine, 3-epi-a-yohimbine, Strychnine Wikipedia, himalaya
Details of the active chemical compounds found in this plant
Is the molecular basis of the medicinal action known? Yes
Details of molecular basis of action Reserpine is reported to influence the concentration of glycogen, acetyl choline, g-amino butyric acid, nucleic acids and anti-diuretic hormone in brain Himalaya
Are the toxic effects of consumption of this plant known? Yes Hymalaya, drugs
Details of the toxic effects of the plant species rauwolfia alkaloids are known to many of drugs like Brofaromine, Clorgyline, Furazolidone, Iproniazid, Isocarboxazid, Lazabemide, Linezolid, Moclobemide, Nialamide, Pargyline, Phenelzine, Procarbazine, Rasagiline, Selegiline, Tetrabenazine, Toloxatone, Tranylcypromine.

These alkaloids can have various effects on many other medical complications, so a strict medical supervision is advisable while taking rauwolfia alkaloids.

Strychnine is known to be toxic at high concentrations

Himalaya, drugs.com
Have there been validation/clinical studies related to this plant? Yes shwetank
Details of the clinical studies related to the plant species

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant/plant-derived product used in food preparations? No User-reported
Part(s) of the plant used in the food preparations
Details of use in food preparations
Does this species have any religious significance?
Religions which mention/give significance to this species EoL
Religious occasions
Details of religious use

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant cultivated commercially in India? Yes shwetank
Uses for which the plant is commercially cultivated Medicinal use
Plant parts of commercial value Root, Stem
Products where this plant is used User-reported
Description of use
States where this plant is cultivated commercially
Best period for planting this plant
Best period for harvesting this plant
Method of propagation
Water requirement of this plant
Pests and Diseases affecting this plant during cultivation
Other considerations while cultivating this plant


Pubmed Word cloud

This word cloud is obtained using the tool LigerCat by searching the Pubmed database. LigerCat builds the cloud from the most relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms. Each term's relative size indicates how many times it appears in the PubMed search results. Click on a term to access the full LigerCat cloud, with live PubMed search capabilities. LigerCat has been developed for the Biology of Aging Project.

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  • If there is an error message below, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 10000.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue

{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Rauwolfia serpentina }}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Details of modern scientific knowledge available for this species The protein structure of enzyme Polyneuridine Aldehyde Esterase is available. This enzyme catalyzes a step involved in formation of alkaloid Sarapagan in Rauwolfia. This alkaloid has an action on the nervous system. Some steps in the synthesis of such Rauwolfia alkaloids have been studied in detail. Alkaloids like Sarpagan have also been shown to be produced by R. serpentina cell cultures. NCBI Taxonomy, Cell culture
Are herbarium specimen available for this species?
Institutes having herbarium samples

References

Cell culture (Journal) : Stockigt et al ({{{year}}}),[Natural products and enzymes from plant cell cultures Natural products and enzymes from plant cell cultures], Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture:43(2):97. doi=10.1007/BF00052163


rauwolfia alkaloids ayurveda Drugs.com (Web): rauwolfia alkaloid, Accessdate=2010-Aug-21


Himalaya rauwolfia ayurveda (Web): Himalaya Herbal monograph: Rauwolfia serpentina, Accessdate=2010-Aug-21