Monday, December 15, 2008

Rauvolfia tetraphylla L.

Family : Apocynaceae

Synonym(s) : Rauvolfia canescens L., Rauvolfia tomentosa

English Name : Be-still tree (USA), Devil-pepper, Four-leaf devil-pepper, Four-leaved devil pepper, Milkbush.

Origin : West Indies

A small, much-branched woody shrub, 0.6 to 1.2 m high. Leaves whorled, ovate-elliptic. Flowers greenish-white or creamy white in umbellate cymes. Fruits (drupes) ovoid, deep red or purple when ripe; seeds oblong, rugose.

Forests of warm and wet parts of India.

Parts Used : Root and plant

Herb Effects
Hypotensive and sedative (root); stimulates the central nervous and cardiovascular systems (plant).

Active Ingredients
Canescine, rauvollscine, reserpine, recanescine, yohimbine (root alkaloids); ajmalicine, ajmaline, corynanthine, serpentine (plant)

Medicinal Use
The roots are hypotensive and sedative. An extract of the plant mixed with castor oil is prescribed as a liniment to treat certain chronic and refractory skin ailments.


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