African Serpentwood, African Snakeroot, Akanta, Asofeyeje, Eto Mmong Eba Ebot In, Ira, Mmoneba, Poison Devil-pepper, Rauwolfia Vomitoria, Serpent Snake Root, Serpent Wood, Swizzle-Stick Tree, Utoenyin, Wada.


Overview Information

Rauvolfia vomitoria is a shrub found mainly in West Africa. The roots, leaves, and stem are used in medicine.

People use Rauvolfia vomitoria for convulsions, fever, weakness, inability to sleep, mental disorders, pain, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and health of the stomach, intestines, and liver. It is also used to promote sleepiness and vomiting.

Rauvolfia vomitoria is applied to the skin for snake bites, skin infections, and swelling.

It is placed in the rectum for worms in the intestine and for menstrual pains.

In western countries such as the U.S. and Canada, Rauvolfia vomitoria is used in some workoutsupplements. Countries including Canada and others have banned supplements containing Rauvolfia vomitoria extract from the market. This is because some Rauvolfia vomitoria extracts contain high levels of chemicals that are prescription drugs.

How does it work?

Rauvolfia vomitoria has been used as a traditional medicine in Western Africa. It contains chemicals that lower blood pressure, kill cancer cells and bacteria, and help with brain function. It is not completely clear which chemicals are the most important in Rauvolfia vomitoria or exactly how they might work together.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diabetes. Early research shows that drinking a beverage made from the leaves and stems of Rauvolfia vomitoria and the fruit of bitter orange helps reduce levels of blood sugar following a meal in some people with diabetes. But it doesn't seem to improve fasting or average blood sugar.
  • Psychosis. Early research shows that taking Rauvolfia vomitoria root powder daily for 6 weeks improves symptoms of psychosis in some people. But it also seems to cause shakiness, jerky movements, or slower movements in some people. These side effects are similar to those of medications for mental conditions (antipsychotic drugs).
  • Arthritis.
  • Cancer.
  • Convulsions.
  • Fever.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Inability to sleep and to promote sleepiness.
  • Liver health.
  • Mental health.
  • Pain.
  • Skin infections.
  • Snake bites.
  • Stomach and intestinal disorders.
  • Weakness.
  • Other uses.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Rauvolfia vomitoria for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Rauvolfia vomitoria is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Taking Rauvolfia vomitoria dried root powder can cause shakiness, jerky movements, or slower movements in some people. These effects are similar to side effects of medications for mental conditions (antipsychotic drugs). Rauvolfia vomitoria also contains chemicals that have been shown to affect the heart and blood vessels, causing low blood pressure and slow heart rate. Other possible side effects of these chemicals include stomach problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and other problems with the brain and nervous system.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: It's POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use Rauvolfia vomitoria during pregnancy. Rauvolfia vomitoria contains chemicals that might cause birth defects.

Breastfeeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Rauvolfia vomitoria if you are breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Anxiety: Rauvolfia vomitoria contains a chemical that might make anxiety worse. Use Rauvolfia vomitoria with caution in people with anxiety.

Depression: Rauvolfia vomitoria contains a chemical that might make depression worse. But some early research shows that Rauvolfia vomitoria does not cause or worsen depression. Until more is known, use Rauvolfia vomitoria with caution in people with depression.

Diabetes: Rauvolfia vomitoria might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use Rauvolfia vomitoria.

Shock therapy (electroconvulsive therapy, ECT): Rauvolfia vomitoria should not be used by people who are receiving ECT. Stop taking Rauvolfia vomitoria at least one week before beginning ECT.

Gall stones: Rauvolfia vomitoria might make gallbladder disease worse.

Stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, or ulcerative colitis: Don't use Rauvolfia vomitoria if you have ever had one of these conditions.

Allergy to reserpine or similar medicines known as rauwolfia alkaloids: Don't take Rauvolfia vomitoria if you are allergic to these medicines.

Low blood pressure: Don't use Rauvolfia vomitoria if you have low blood pressure. Rauvolfia vomitoria might lower blood pressure even further and cause very low levels.

A tumor in the adrenal glands that causes dangerously high blood pressure (pheochromocytoma): Don't use Rauvolfia vomitoria if you have this condition.

Surgery: Rauvolfia vomitoria might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using Rauvolfia vomitoria at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.



We currently have no information for RAUVOLFIA VOMITORIA Interactions.



The appropriate dose of Rauvolfia vomitoria depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Rauvolfia vomitoria. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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