Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses of Sarpagandha

Sarpagandha or Indian Snakeroot is an effective medicinal herb in traditional medicines. It is one of the most famous herbs in Ayurveda due to its powerful medicinal values to treat various diseases. The root of Sarpagandha has been used as an effective remedy for hypertension since ancient times. The root of this plant is similar to a snake, so it is called a snakeroot. 

The Indian snakeroot contains many effective chemical compounds that help to treat many health conditions, and it provides several health benefits. The Sarpagandha root is also an effective remedy for treating snake bites and other insect bites. 

The root powder is used to treat various diseases such as insomnia, nervous system-related diseases, mental disorders like maniacal behavior, convulsions, aggressive behavior, excessive talking, etc. The combination of Sarpagandha and Jatamansi provides better results for mental disorders and also calms the central nervous system, reducing aggression, anxiety, and irritability.

General Description of Sarpagandha

Sarpagandha is a flowering plant that is native to East Asia and Indian Subcontinent areas. Sarpagandha belongs to the milkweed family Apocynaceae, and it is botanically known as Rauwolfia Serpentina. It is an evergreen perennial undershrub that commonly grows in shady forests. It grows up to 5 feet in height, and it contains very lengthy roots that go very deep under the soil and doesn’t have any branches. 

The stems are covered with thick bark, and it blossoms flowers in the winter month. The flowers are pink or white in color, and the fruit of this plant is very small that is green in color, and it turns to purple-black when ripened. The root of the plant plays a major role in treating various diseases. 

It contains many bioactive constituents such as alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins, phlobatannins, saponins, glycosides, phenols, terpenes, and resins. Sarpagandha has a bitter taste and its powerful medicinal properties help to treat high blood pressure, mental problems cleanse your body, and calms your mind. It balances three doshas in your body

Common Names of Sarpagandha 

Botanical Name: Rauwolfia Serpentina
English Name: Indian Snakeroot
Tamil Name: Sarpagandha
Malayalam Name: Amalpori
Telugu Name: Dumprasna
Kannada Name: Sarpaghandi, Chandrika
Hindi Name: Sarpagandha
Marathi Name: Adkayi
Bengali Name: Chandra
Gujarati Name: Amelpodi

Rauwolfia Serpentina Calssification

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Rauwolfia
Species: Serpentina

Medicinal Properties of Sarpagandha

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antidiuretic
  • Antifungal
  • Antihypertensive
  • Anti-proliferative
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anthelmintic
  • Anticholinergic
  • Sedative
  • Hypnotic

Health Benefits & Medicinal Values of Sarpagandha

The Sarpagandha roots are used to treat various diseases with its effective compounds. It helps to calm your nervous system, decrease anxiety, and aggressive behavior. 

It is an effective remedy to treat high blood pressure, insomnia, diarrhea, mental disorders, whooping cough, dysmenorrhea, headache, breathing difficulties, snakebite, etc. in Ayurveda. Thus, it is the most famous medicinal herb in all fields.

1] Treats High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Sarpagandha root powder is an effective remedy to decrease and control high blood pressure. Hypertension may occur due to sleeplessness, heart-related diseases, and overconsumption of alcohol. The alkaloid present in Sarpagandha root contains Reserpine that has sedative effects. It helps to effectively reduce the level of catecholamines in the heart and androgenic nerves. 

Catecholamines are a group of hormones such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and epinephrine. According to studies, it is found that the roots of Sarpagandha have the capacity to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 

The RESERPINE  present in Sarpagandha roots also helps to decrease the level of blood pressure. It decreases the promulgation of the nerve impulses that occur in postsynaptic nerve cells due to the reduction of neurotransmitters. 

This reduction is the reason for the control of the sympathetic nerve function that reduces your heart rate and arterial blood pressure. Thus, it decreases the high blood pressure. 

Ayurveda recommends the raw form of Sarpagandha like whole root powder or powder tablet than its extract to get more effective results. The whole herb works significantly to maintain the level of blood pressure. Therefore, Sarpagandha is known as universal medicine to reduce high blood pressure.

2] Acts as Antioxidants

Sarpagandha contains a huge amount of powerful antioxidants that help to fight against the damages of free radicals in your body. 

According to researchers, there is an increased chance of linking the generation of free radicals with the diseases. The free radicals may cause stress on your body parts and lead to degradation in your body, so it causes various diseases. 

The antioxidants present in Sarpagandha is an effective remedy that helps to prevent free radicals. The extract of Sarpagandha root contains free radical scavenging activity that clears all the free radicals in your body.

3] Treats Insomnia

Insomnia is a kind of sleeping disorder that occurs commonly in many people due to obstructed sleep. It is caused by the degradation of Vata dosha. 

The hypnotic properties of Sarpagandha help to stimulate sleep. There are two types of insomnia, such as short-term and chronic. Short-term insomnia affects 20% of people that lasts 3-4 months, and chronic insomnia affects 10% of people. Sarpagandha helps to calm your mind and reduces anxiety.

4] Treats Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods)

Many women face pain during menstrual periods but it is a common problem. Sarpagandha is an effective remedy to decrease pain during menstrual periods. 

It decreases cramps and throbbing pain by regulating the blood flow during the menstrual period. The analgesic property of Sarpagandha works significantly to reduce pain. 

To get better results, consume Sarpagandha root powder with the combination of Jatamansi root powder. Consume 1 gm of this mixture along with water two times per day for 2-3 days. 

5] Treats Gastrointestinal Problems

Sarpagandha contains effective properties, acidic smell, strong bitter taste, so it helps to treat gastrointestinal diseases like anorexia, worms, and abdominal pain. 

It acts as an appetizer, so it cures abdominal pain by increasing appetite. Consume Sarpagandha, along with milk that eliminates Vata doshas. It is also used in loss of appetite due to its digestive and anthelmintic properties.

6] Treats Mental Disorders

Sarpagandha is an effective herb widely used in Ayurveda and many traditional medicines since ancient times to treat mental diseases. 

Due to the antipsychotic, anti-anxiety, hypnotic, and sedative properties, Sarpagandha helps to treat various diseases such as sleeplessness, aggression, running, beating, crying, etc. 

Sarpagandha is also used to treat anxiety and running. The extracts of Sarpagandha roots contain the capacity to reduce restlessness, tension, etc. 

According to many studies, the regular consumption of Sarpagandha significantly decreases the symptoms of mental illness and other mental disorders. 

The combination of Sarpagandha and Jatamansi provides effective treatment for various mental disorders. Consume 1 gm of this mixture two times per day along with cow’s milk.

7] Manages Diabetes

Diabetes is a common disease in many people that occurs due to the imbalance of glucose metabolism. Diabetes may lead to dyslipidemia and cardiovascular problems such as arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. 

According to studies, Sarpagandha not only treats diabetes and also treats many diseases. The hypoglycemic properties of Sarpagandha help to reduce the level of blood sugar. 

Sarpagandha also used to reduce blood glucose levels by decreasing body weight and sugar levels in hemoglobin. 

Diabetes slows down the blood flow that may lead to plaque build-up and atherosclerosis. The extracts of Sarpagandha provide great relief for all these conditions.

8] Treats Fever

Sarpagandha is used to provide great relief from high-grade fever. High-grade fever may lead to irritability, hallucinations, convulsions, and confusion. 

Sarpagandha is a perfect remedy for treating and preventing fever and disorders associated with fever. The alkaloids compound present in Sarpagandha helps to cure high-grade fever effectively. 

Consume 500 mg of Sarpagandha powder along with coconut water or rose water three times per day. Sarpagandha is one of the effective natural remedies for fever.

9] Prevents Heart Diseases

Heart diseases are increasing day by day in the current century due to stress, lifestyle, food habits, etc. Sarpagandha is a traditional medicine widely used to treat many heart-related diseases. 

According to studies, the extract of Sarpagandha helps to prevent coronary artery disease and decreases angina symptoms. 

Generally, heart diseases may occur due to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but Sarpagandha is an effective remedy for treating both of these diseases. As we mentioned above, Sarpagandha acts as a hypertensive agent and reduces the level of high blood pressure effectively. 

Many studies found that Sarpagandha reduces bad cholesterol from your body and improves good cholesterol. Therefore, it prevents cardiovascular diseases.

10] Treats Anxiety

Anxiety is considered as a serious problem by many people because that may lead to many serious conditions. Sarpagandha provides effective treatment for those who suffer from anxiety. Studies found that powerful antioxidants present in Sarpagandha help to cure anxiety. 

Sarpagandha contains numerous powerful antioxidants that provide great relief from tension and other disorders related to anxiety.

11] Treats Dysentery

Sarpagandha helps to reduce dysentery and cures constipation that occurs due to headaches and hypertension. 

Edema is a condition of excessive water flow of your body. Consume 250 mg of Sarpagandha powder along with  Kutajarishta three times per day that effectively cures dysentery. It decreases the frequency of loose stool and relieves pain.

12] Treats Cholera

Many people considered that Cholera might occur due to the consumption of contaminated food and water, but bacteria play a major role in cholera. 

Cholera occurs not only due to this, and also occurs even in people who eat antimicrobial foods. Sarpagandha contains effective anti-microbial and antifungal properties that help to treat cholera.

13] Cures Uterine Pain 

Sarpagandha helps to relieve the uterine pain due to miscarriage effectively. It contracts the uterus and removes toxins from your body and residues from the uterine. 

It relaxes your uterine muscles, controls bleeding, and decreases pain. Consume 500 mg of Sarpagandha powder three times per day for two days or consume 250 mg three times per day for an extra three days.

14] Treats Snakebite

Sarpagandha is an effective remedy for treating snakebites in Ayurveda. Not only for snakebites but also treats various insect bites, and animal bites. 

The leaves and root of Sarpagandha is effectively used in many rural areas for treating snake and insect bites. Externally, it can be applied as a paste on the bitten area along with milk. Internally, it can be taken with the black pepper as a decoction. 

Drink this decoction on regular intervals within 24 hours and after that, consume 500 mg of Sarpagandha powder with honey three times per day for 5-10 days to relieve the poison completely.

15] Treats Cancer

Sarpagandha helps to provide effective treatment for breast cancer. According to many researches and studies, consuming Sarpagandha decreases the symptoms of breast cancer in many patients due to its powerful medicinal values.

Medicinal Uses of Sarpagandha

  • The roots of Sarpagandha is an effective remedy for treating hypertension, and it reduces high blood pressure.
  • The leaves, roots, and bark of this herb are used as an effective remedy for treating snake bites and other insect bites in Ayurveda and other folk medicines.
  • Drinking the decoction of Sarpagandha helps to improve uterine contractions during delivery and used to treat pain in the bowel.
  • It is effectively used to cure various mental disorders such as insomnia, schizophrenia, seizures, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and sleeping problems.
  • The powder of Sarpagandha roots used to treat chronic fevers, joint pains, and gout. The paste can be applied to decrease the inflammation and pain in joints.
  • It is an effective remedy to treat rheumatic. Sarpagandha contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to decrease excessive inflammation in your body.
  • The anti-bacterial property of Sarpagandha fights against microbes causes various infections.
  • The combination of Sarpagandha is used to treat bleeding diarrhea.
  • It is an excellent medicine to treat various skin diseases such as rashes, eczema, inflammation, boils, skin irritation, itching, etc.
  • Sarpagandha helps to regulate menstruation cycles and increases the flow and volume of bleeding menstruation. For men, it helps to prevent premature ejaculation.
  • Sarpagandha is also an effective remedy to constipation and digestive system-related diseases.
  • Consuming the mixture of Sarpagandha and Cissampelos pareira with water two times per day for five days helps to cure malaria.

Dosage of Sarpagandha

The general dosage of Sarpagandha root powder described in below


100 mg to 300 mg *


200 mg to 600 mg *

Maximum Possible Dosage

2 grams Per Day (in divided doses) 

Consume Sarpagandha root powder along with rose water, cow’s milk, or water two or three times per day after food.

Dosage of Sarpagandha for Hypertension

The dosage of Sarpagandha root powder in mild to moderate hypertension.

Prehypertension (Systolic blood pressure 120-139 & Diastolic blood pressure 80-89)

Not compulsory, Diet management is highly recommended than medicine.

Stage 1 hypertension (Systolic blood pressure 140-159 & Diastolic blood pressure 90-99)

200 to 400 mg 

Stage 2 hypertension (Systolic blood pressure ≥ 160 & Diastolic blood pressure ≥ 100)

400 to 600 mg root

Consume this along with rose water, cow’s milk or water once or twice per day. The maximum dosage shouldn’t increase more than 2 grams based on the severity of the condition. It provides effective treatment even in low dosage. Follow this medicine at least 2 weeks continuously to get better results.

Dosage of Sarpagandha & Khurasani Ajwain

Sarpagandha combined with other herbs to control blood pressure in Ayurveda. It is a perfect combination to provide great results for hypertension, bloating, insomnia, flatulence, poor appetite, and dysmenorrhea.

Rauwolfia Serpentina Root Powder (Sarpagandha Churna)

1 Part

Khurasani Ajwain

1 Part

Jatamansi Root Powder

1 Part

Misri (Sugar)

2 Parts

Consume one gm of this mixture two times per day along with rose water, cow’s milk, or water 2 hours before sleeping.

Dosage of Sarpagandha for Insomnia

Rauwolfia Serpentina Root Powder (Sarpagandha Churna)

1 Part

Khurasani Ajwain

1 Part

Misri (Sugar)

2 Parts

Consume one gm of this medicine two times per day along with rose water 2 hours before sleeping.

Side Effects of Sarpagandha

Sarpagandha provides effective treatment for many diseases without causing side effects in the proper dosage. It may also cause few side effects when you take overdosage or a short period of treatment. Thus, you should consult your doctor before taking Sarpagandha. Sarpagandha can cause the following side effects.

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Stuffy nose or Nasal Congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of lower legs
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Nausea & vomiting

Sarpagandha alkaloids can cause the following side effects.

  • Impotence in men
  • Mental depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in vomiting
  • Headache
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Trembling
  • Bruising
  • Chest pain
  • Early morning sleeplessness
  • Dizziness
  • Skin Rash
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Faintness or Drowsiness
  • Reduced attention span
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Stiffness
  • Nervousness
  • Feeling of weakness or loss of energy
  • Nasal congestion
  • Hypersensitivity


Sarpagandha is unsafe to consume during pregnancy because it can cause unwanted effects and congenital disabilities. According to studies, it affects the health and reduces the survival of newborn babies. For pregnant women, it may cause breathing problems and loss of appetite. These side effects may affect your babies after delivery. Thus, you should avoid Sarpagandha during pregnancy.


The alkaloids present in Sarpagandha pass through the breastmilk that may cause side effects. Thus, it is better to avoid all formulations of Sarpagandha for lactating mothers.

It may cause the following side effects on lactating mothers.

  • Breathing Troubles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low body temperature

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