Devil Pepper | Rauwolfia serpentina

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Other Names

Ajmaline, Arbre aux Serpents, Arbre de Serpents, Bois de Couleuvre, Chandrika, Chota-Chand, Covanamilpori, Dhanburua, Pagla-Ka-Dawa, Ophioxylon serpentinum, Patalagandhi, Racine de Couleuvre, Racine de Serpent, Rauwolfia, Rauwolfae Radix, Rauwolfia Serpentina, Serpiria, Rauwolfiawurzel, Rauvolfia serpentina, Sarpagandha, Sarpgandha, Serpentaire de l’Inde, Serpentine, Serpentine-Wood, Serpiria, She Gen Mu, Snakewood, Snake Wood, Serpentine Wood, Snake Root Devil Pepper, Serpentina, Java Devil Pepper, Rauvolfia (Engl.), Snake Root, Yin du she mu (Chin.), Swizzle Stick (En.), African Snakeroot, Poison Devil’s Pepper, African Serpent Wood, Berenquete (Po), Schlangenwurz, Indische Schlangenwurzel, Java-Teufelspfeffer, Pagal-Ka-Dawa, Schlangenholz, Wahnsinnskraut, Rauwolfia, Рауво́льфия змеи́ная, Вечнозелёный кустарник, Раувольфия, Кутровые

Description

Commonly known as Serpentina in various parts of Asia, Devil Pepper is a small shrub with a milky sap and whorled branches. Its leaves are oblong and elliptic, reaching up to 30 centimeters long. Its flowers are white and clustered, the corolla tubes are slender and spread into five lobes. The fruit is a small drupe. The plant is native to tropical Asia and is said to come from India. It is also grown in Java, Assam, Malaya peninsula and Himalayas.

Ingredients

Yohimbine, ajmaline, reserpine, deserpidine, serpentinine, rescinnamine, alkaloids, resin, starch, phytosterols, oleic acid, yellow crystalline stronger bases

Collection Period

July to August




Used Parts

Root

Uses

  • Allergies,

  • Anxiety,

  • Asthma,

  • Constipation,

  • Counters insect stings and poisonous reptiles,

  • Depression,

  • Duodenal ulcer,

  • Dysmenorrhea,

  • Eczema,

  • Edema,

  • Epilepsy,

  • Fever,

  • Gastric ulcer,

  • Hay fever,

  • Hypertension,

  • Hypochondria,

  • Hysteria,

  • Insect bites,

  • Insomnia,

  • Low blood pressure,

  • Menopausal symptoms,

  • Nervousness,

  • Paranoia,

  • Poison antidote,

  • Relieves headache,

  • Relieves high blood pressure,

  • Restlessness,

  • Snake bites,

  • Tranquilizer,

  • Treats mental disorders,

  • Worms,

Properties

  • Abortifacient,

  • Antihypertensive,

  • Antispasmodic,

  • Antitussive,

  • Depressant,

  • Diuretic,

  • Febrifuge,

  • Hypontensive,

  • Hypotensive,

  • Laxative,

  • Mood-Lifting,

  • Neuroleptic,

  • Pulse-Lowering,

  • Reassuring,

  • Styptic,

  • Sympantholytic,

  • Tonic,

  • Vasodilating,

Application

The root is powdered and used twice daily for hypertension and headache. Among women, it is used to treat hysteria and epilepsy. It is an effective tranquilizer and an antidote for poison bites coming from reptiles. It is also said to treat mental disorders. The root powder may be mixed with salt and applied on the wound or taken internally.

Summary

Devil Pepper has diverse properties and is versatile. It is mostly used for poison antidote, mental health disorder, anxiety, and hysteria. It is described as a tranquilizer and can also treat a headache in the short term. It’s also an effective remedy to treat high blood pressure.

Side Effects

Devil Pepper may be harmful to pregnant women and patients who have chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

References

  • Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1Record display: http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Rauvolfia%20vomitoria_En.htm
  • Stuart Xchange, Philippine Medicinal Plants, Serpentina: http://stuartxchange.com/Serpentina.html
  • Wikipedia, Rauvolfia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rauvolfia

 

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