In Ayurveda, sarpagandha is famous for its medicinal benefits. It’s also known as snakeroot, Indian snakeroot, or Rauwolfia serpentina L. This herb is a woody perennial shrub that can be found in India and Southeast Asia.1
When used as a holistic remedy, sarpagandha has a seemingly endless list of benefits. Here are 11 uses of this magical herb.
1. Controls High Blood Pressure
In America, 1 in every 3 adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. That’s 75 million people!2 Sarpagandha, however, is known for its positive effect on high blood pressure. It can reduce systolic blood pressure, which is the measurement of blood pressure when the heart beats.3 4
2. Increases Appetite
Sarpagandha is great for boosting your appetite.5 Yes, this can be a good thing.
For example, you might be healing from a bout of sickness. Or maybe you’re dealing with cancer, hypothyroidism, or side effects of medication.6 All of these can lead to unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition. By taking sarpagandha, you can get your appetite back to normal.
3. Aids Digestion
After eating, sarpagandha will promote healthy digestion. It also works against vomiting so you can stomach food properly.7 Additionally, throughout history, this plant has been used as a traditional treatment for gastrointestinal diseases.8
4. Relieves Diarrhea And Constipation
Are you having a hard time passing bowel? Turn to sarpagandha. Since the old ages, this herb has been used to calm diarrhea and constipation.9 It’s also used for dysentery, an intestinal infection marked by diarrhea with blood or mucus.10
5. Cures Migraines
If you suffer from migraines, you might be looking for a natural cure. Otherwise, it can be difficult to function on a daily basis! Luckily, as an analgesic, sarpagandha is valuable for treating migraines.11
Keep in mind that this is known to relieve all types of body pain.12 Therefore, it may also come in handy for muscle aches or menstrual cramps.
6. Regulates Menstruation
Dealing with a missed or late period can be frustrating. But it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re pregnant. Factors like stress, traveling, and weight loss can mess with menstruation. Sometimes, it may be a symptom of another condition.
If you know that you’re not pregnant, take sarpagandha. It has the ability to increase uterine contractions and menstrual bleeding.13 This is useful when you want Aunt Flo to get back on track.
For extra benefits, take it with ginger and black pepper.14
7. Eases Stress
If you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, sarpagandha may be your answer. It’s a traditional remedy for these ailments, making it ideal for managing mental health. This herb works by reducing the tissue stores of catchotamines, a hormone that’s released when you’re emotionally stressed.15 16
To top it off, sarpagandha is believed to possess anti-psychotic properties. People with schizophrenia and psychosis may be able to benefit from this plant.17
8. Promotes Sleep
9. Treats Insect And Reptile Bites
In some parts of the world, sarpagandha is used to treat stings from scorpions and poisonous insects. It can also cure bites from reptiles, including cobra snakes.20 The name “snakeroot” makes total sense.
10. Calms Skin Irritation
From itching to hives, sarpagandha benefits skin disorders. Other uses include psoriasis treatment and prevention of excessive sweating.21 According to the International Journal of Advances in Interdisciplinary Research, extracts of this plant can also fight Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are known for causing breakouts.
It’s all because of the plant’s potent anti-microbial properties. If you have a cut or wound, use sarpagandha to prevent infections. This will pave the way for complete and proper healing.22
11. Reduces Fever
Sarpagandha also has the power to reduce a fever.23 It doubles as a natural alternative to over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Plus, if you’re feeling achy, sarpagandha’s analgesic properties will save the day.
If you’re pregnant – or trying to get pregnant – don’t take sarpagandha. Since it can induce menstruation, it can be harmful for you and your baby.
This herb can be found as a powder or tablet. Before taking sarpagandha, ask your doctor if it’s safe for you. It might interfere with the medication that you’re already taking.
|↑1, ↑8, ↑12, ↑22, ↑23||Gomathi, M., L. R. Gopinath, S. Archaya, and R. Bhuvaneswari. “Review on Rawlofia serpentina-An Endangered Plant Species.” International Journal of Advances in Interdisciplinary Research 1, no. 9 (2014).|
|↑2||High Blood Pressure in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3||Bhogayata, Kamlesh, P. P. Sharma, and B. R. Patel. “A clinical evaluation of Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris L., R. Br.) on essential hypertension.” AYU (An international quarterly journal of research in Ayurveda) 30, no. 3 (2009): 318.|
|↑4||Description of High Blood Pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑5, ↑7, ↑11, ↑13||Pathak¹, Vandna, Renu Srivastav, and Puspendra Shukla. “Pharmacognostical Study of Rauwolfia serpentine (Sarpagandha) Root.” Int. J. Rec. Biotech 2, no. 3 (2014): 67-77.|
|↑6||Appetite – decreased. MedlinePlus.|
|↑9, ↑14, ↑15, ↑17, ↑18, ↑19, ↑20, ↑21||Sharma, Ritu. “Vedic Medicines with Special Reference to Rauwolfia Serpentina.”|
|↑10||Traa, Beatrix S., Christa L. Fischer Walker, Melinda Munos, and Robert E. Black. “Antibiotics for the treatment of dysentery in children.” International journal of epidemiology 39, no. suppl 1 (2010): i70-i74.|
|↑16||Catecholamine blood test. MedlinePlus.|