, pub-6935017799501206, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Medicinal Plant, Rauvolfia tetraphylla - PLANTER AND FORESTER

Medicinal Plant, Rauvolfia tetraphylla

Medicinal Plant,  Rauvolfia tetraphylla 

Rauvolfia tetraphylla is a plant in the Apocynaceae family, growing as a bush or small tree. It is commonly known as the be still tree or devil-pepper

The plant is native to Mexico, Central America, West Indies, and northern South America. It has been cultivated widely as both an ornamental and as a source of pharmaceuticals and is now naturalised throughout the tropics including Australasia, Indochina and India.

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Rauvolfia tetraphylla is usually a much-branched shrub growing up to 1 metre tall, but sometimes becoming a small tree up to 4 metres tall. The plant contains a copious white latex.

The plant is often gathered from the wild for local medicinal use and as the source of a dyestuff and ink. It has been introduced into India, China and Vietnam where it has been experimentally cultivated as a substitute for R. Serpentaria in medicinal use.

It is grown as a commercial source of the alkaloid reserpine, used in allopathic medicine

The fruit is generally considered to be poisonous.

Rauvolfia tetraphylla
Habitat :
Wet to dry thickets, often in second growth or in waste ground or old fields, usually at elevations below 500 metres, but also extending to 2,000 metres.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in full sun to partial shade, preferring a rich, well-drained soil. The plant is known to flourish equally well in much-exposed, sunny, sandy soils near the seashore and also in wet and marshy, shady grasslands at elevations of about 2,000 metres.

Rauvolfia tetraphylla
Medicinal :

The plant can commence flowering in its first year from seed. It can flower and fruit almost all year round.

The latex, roots, leaves, bark and fruits are all used in traditional medicine in S. America. The roots are frequently used in India as a substitute of Rauvolfia serpentina for medicinal purposes.

The latex in the plant is said to be cathartic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant.  It is used for treating dropsy and various other diseases, It is applied to granulated eyelids.

The plant is commonly used in the treatment of malaria in Guatemala, where it is also one of the reputed remedies for snake bites.

The plant contains two alkaloids, to which the names Chalcupine A and B have been given.
The plant is a good source of the alkaloid reserpine, which is used in making allopathic medicines. It is harvested commercially for this purpose.

The roots yield the alkaloid deserpidine, which is an antihypertensive and tranquilizer.

Rauvolfia tetraphylla L. Medicinal Plant, Remedies for Snake Bite

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