rauwolfia(redirected from rauvolfias)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
1. any member of the genus Rauwolfia, tropical trees and shrubs.
2. the dried root, or extract of the dried root, of one of these plants.
rauwolfia serpenti´na the dried root of Rauwolfia serpentina, sometimes with fragments of rhizome and other parts, used as an antihypertensive agent.
Rauwolfia(row-wūl'fē-ă, raw-, rah-),
A genus of tropical trees and shrubs (family Apocynaceae). The powdered whole root of Rauwolfia serpentina contains alkaloids that produce a sedative-antihypertensive-bradycardiac action; approximately 50% of the total activity is due to reserpine.
[L. Rauwolf, German botanist, 16th century]
A plant native to India that contains reserpine, an alkaloid. Rauwolfia is antipyretic and emmenagogic; it has been used as an ayurvedic herbal medicine for depression, diarrhoea, colic in infants and hypertension. It has also been used as an antidote to snake poison.
Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, oedema, hypotension, sedation, coma, possibly death.