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Treatment of hypertension with Rauwolfia serpentina alone and combined with other drugs results in 84 cases


Livesay WR, Moyer JH, Miller SI


The availability of several different hypotensive drugs that are effective when given orally makes their use feasible1 in the treatment of hypertension either singly or in various combinations. Satisfactory hypotensive responsiveness has been previously demonstrated in the more refractory cases by combining hexamethonium and hydralazine (Apresoline).2 However, a persistently high incidence of unpleasant side-effects continues to be encountered. The latest addition to the list of pharmacological agents that are effective in lowering the blood pressure is Rauwolfia serpentina and its various extracts. The drug has the distinct advantage among hypotensive agents in being associated with no serious untoward side-effects. In fact, it oftener produces certain desirable effects such as mild sedation without somnolence3 and a general sense of well being. When used alone, it offers an opportunity to bring about control of the mild hypertensive state. In patients with severe hypertension, it may be used to prepare them for the addition of more potent hypotensive agents by bringing about better stabilization of the disease. It is reasonable to assume that an agent of this type may also increase the blood pressure lowering ability of the more potent primary agent and actually decrease the unpleasant side-effects of the latter. This report will present the results obtained in the treatment of hypertension of varying degrees of severity with alseroxylon (Rauwiloid) alone and with hydralazine or hexamethonium when these agents were used in the outpatient clinic of a city-country hospital.


Plant local nameSerpentina
Scientific nameRauwolfia serpentina
Is local study?
"" plant grouping3
Abstract availabilityYes
"" plant name IDSPT25
Type of studyFor classification
Full text available?
Full citationLivesay WR, Moyer JH, Miller SI. Treatment of hypertension with Rauwolfia serpentina alone and combined with other drugs results in 84 cases. JAMA 1954;155(12):1027-1035.