Botanical Name : Rauwolfia verticillata
Other Names : Reserpine, Rauwolfia, Serpentwood
Reserpine is extracted from the root of Rauwolfia serpentina or Rauwolfia vomitoria, plants found in India and Africa. In traditional herbal medicine, the root was brewed as a tea and used in humans to treat hypertension, insanity, snakebite, and cholera. Reserpine was the first drug found to interfere with the human sympathetic nervous system, and it initiated the effective pharmacotherapeutic control of hypertension. Reserpine is a naturally occurring drug that has been used for centuries in ancient India.
Reserpine is an anti-adrenergic drug. Reserpine is a Postganglionic sympathetic nerve terminal blocker. Reserpine impairs the storage of biogenic amines by interfering with an uptake mechanism. Results in depletion of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in both central and peripheral neurons. Reserpine reduces the cardiac output by negative inotropic effect and negative chronotropic effect. Similarly by reducing sympathetic activity to blood vessels, Reserpine relaxes capacitance vessels and reduces total peripheral resistance.
Reserpine is a naturally occurring drug that has been used for centuries in ancient India. It is extracted from the root of Rauwolfia vomitoria, plants found extensively in Africa. In traditional herbal medicine, the root was brewed as a tea and used in humans to treat hypertension, insanity, snakebite, and cholera. The purified alkaloid, reserpine, was isolated in 1952 and is considered the first modern drug for the treatment of hypertension. Reserpine irreversibly binds to the storage vesicles of neurotransmitters, particularly norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Eventually, catecholamine depletion occurs because of the body's inability to store these neurotransmitters.
In India Rauwolfia has been used since centuries for relief of central nervous system disorder including anxiety , excitement etc.
The chief use of the drug is as a sedative and hypnotic and for reducing blood pressure. The drug is now largely used in insanity and high blood pressure. The alkaloids stimulate the central nervous system. It is more suitable for cases of mild anxiety or patients of chronic mental illness.
Latin Name : Rauwolfia Serpentina
Local Name : Reserpine, Rauwolfia, Serpentwood, Sarpagandha
Parts Used : Roots
Distribution : In India, Rauwolfia serpentina is widely distributed in the sub-Himalayan tract from Punjab eastwards to Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Assam; lower hills of Gangetic plains; Eastern and Western Ghats; parts of Central India and in the Andamans. Extensive collection of the species from the wild has led to its becoming endangered.
Uses of Reserpine :
- The chief use reserpine is as a sedative and hypnotic and for reducing blood pressure. This alkaloid stimulates the central nervous system.
- Reserpine is more suitable for cases of mild anxiety or patients of chronic mental illness.
- Veterinary Use On Horses: Reserpine is used as a long acting tranquilizer to sedate excitable or difficult horses that are on enforced rest.
- Reserpine reduces cardiac output and the total peripheral resistance. As such, it is extremely useful in lowering blood pressure.
- Reserpine is principally advocated in case of mild to moderate hypertension, insomnia and in psychiatric disorder but with extreme precaution.
- Reserpine has been used in India for centuries to treat insanity as well as physical illnesses such as fevers and snakebites.
- Reserpine is also used for certain veterinary purposes. Reserpine is used as a long acting tranquilizer in horses. It is used to sedate excitable or difficult horses that are on enforced rest.
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