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Hypertension Herb Sarpagandha

High Blood Pressure Herb Sarpagandha

Sarpagandha is a Sanskrit word means (smells like) serpent. It has sedative and antihypertensive property, thus used for centuries to treat hypertension by traditional Indians.

Hypertension Herb Sarpagandha

Sarpagandha Plant: Rauwolfia serpentina is an evergreen shrub from the Apocynaceae family. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, including India, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia.

The genus Rauwolfia was named in honor of the 16th-century German physician Dr. Leonhard Rauwolf, who studied this plant while traveling in India. Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi reportedly drank a Sarpagandha tea help him relax and sleep after a long, busy day.

Rustom Jal Vakil is the British-trained medical physician first used Rauwolfia for the hypertension treatment when there was no effective pharmacological hypertension treatment available anywhere in the world.

Rauwolfia serpentina has been used in Indian folk medicine for thousands of years to treat snake & insect bites, febrile conditions, malaria, abdominal pain, and dysentery. It was also used as a uterine stimulant, febrifuge, and cure insanity.

Other names of Sarpagandha: Scientific name for Sarpagandha is Rauwolfia serpentine, Sarpagandha is also known as Chandrika.

Sarpagandha nutritional value: Rauwolfia contains many different phytochemicals, including alcohols, sugars and glycosides, fatty acids, flavonoids, phytosterols, oleoresins, steroids, tannins, and alkaloids. All parts of the plant, including the stem and leaves, contain them but found in highest concentration in the bark of the root.

Different available forms of the Sarpagandha: Sarpagandha root, root powder, root extract (different alkaloid), and tinctures.

Recommended daily dosage for Sarpagandha: You can take 250 mg to 4 grams of Sarpagandha Powder per day. Alternatively, 100 to 500 mg of extracts per day.

For insomnia 250 mg to 1 gram of root powder per day. For hypertension 250 mg to 2 gram of root powder in divided dose per day. For schizophrenia 500 mg to 4 grams of root powder per day. For hysteria 1 g of root powder with cow milk.

How does Rauwolfia serpentina lower blood pressure?

Rauwolfia lowers blood pressure, also has a potent anti-arrhythmic effect used to treat hypertension. Rauwolfia work by controlling nerve impulses and act on the heart & blood vessels to lower blood pressure.

Rauwolfia serpentina’s scientific evidence

In a clinical trial of Rauwolfia serpentina in essential hypertension, 50 patients with initial blood pressures greater than 160/95 millimeters. After four weeks of taking medicine, systolic blood pressure dropped between 2 and 54 millimeters in the group of patients. [Br Heart J. January 1949; 11(4):350–355.] & [Circulation. 1955; 12:220–229.]

In 1952, a purified, standardized isolated alkaloid extract of Rauwolfia serpentina was introduced to the US. A consistent decrease in blood pressure readings of greater than 20 millimeters was observed in patients treated with the alseroxylon extract. [AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955; 96(4):530–543.]

9 Medicinal Uses of Rauwolfia serpentina

  1. Hypertension - Sarpagandha has a potent anti-arrhythmic effect, control nerve impulses, reduce the heart rate, and dilates blood vessels thus lower blood pressure.
  2. Insomnia - Sarpagandha has a calming effect on the mind and brain, thus induces sleep. It is suitable for disturbed sleep in patients with hypertension. It benefits in relieving hysteria. One gram powder of root can be taken three times with milk every day.
  3. Tranquilizer - It is often used as a sedative and to reduce tension or anxiety in different countries.
  4.  Anti-poison/toxin - It is useful in the treatment of snake (cobra), scorpion or reptile bite and stings of any poisonous insects. Alexander the Great used this plant to cure his general of a poisoned arrow.
  5. Schizophrenia (insanity) - It has been used as a remedy for chronic abnormal anxiety, mental disorders, and insanity. It also relieves excited state of mind.
  6. Fever – it is useful in recurrent and chronic fever.
  7. Uterus contraction - It contracts uterus and induces menstruation.
  8. Epilepsy - It is used in epilepsy, panic attacks, psychosis, and anxiety treatment; although not indicated in the depression treatment.
  9. Premature ejaculation - It suppresses early excitement and thus useful in the treatment of premature ejaculation.

Rauwolfia serpentina side effects or warnings

It is contraindicated in bronchial asthma, duodenal ulcer, hyperacidity, and renal disorders. This herb stimulates the uterus, thus should not be used during pregnancy.

The most common side effect of reserpine (alkaloid of Sarpagandha) is nasal congestion occurred in 5% to 15% of patients taking Rauwolfia products.

Other side effects include lethargy, sedation, hypotension, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, gastric ulceration, nightmares, bradycardia, angina-like symptoms, bronchospasm, skin rash, itching, breast enlargement, and sexual dysfunction.

You can take Sarpagandha along with your hypertension medication (don't stop it).
If your blood pressure drops after few days of Sarpagandha use, then you can reduce the dosage and monitor your blood pressure closely for any raise. If it raises, then change back to your original medicine dosage. In the other hand, if BP reduces further after some days of practice then again you can reduce the drug dose!
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