Indian Snakeroot

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How does Indian Snakeroot work?

Indian snakeroot contains chemicals such as reserpine that decrease heart rate and blood pressure.

Are there safety concerns?

Indian snakeroot is possibly safe when a standardized extract is used under the supervision of a healthcare professional trained in its use. Standardized Indian snakeroot contains a set amount of medicine. The amount of reserpine and other chemicals in Indian snakeroot can vary from plant to plant. Since the reserpine and other chemicals in Indian snakeroot can be very toxic, the dose must be accurate and the side effects monitored by a trained healthcare professional. Self-medication is UNSAFE. Side effects can range from mild to serious and include nasal congestion, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, drowsiness, convulsions, Parkinson's-like symptoms, and coma. Indian snakeroot can slow reaction times and should not be used when driving or operating heavy machinery.

Do not take Indian snakeroot if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have ulcers or ulcerative colitis.
  • You have a history of gall stones.
  • You receive ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).
  • You have depression.
  • You have pheochromocytoma, a tumor in your adrenal glands which causes dangerously high blood pressure.
  • You are sensitive to reserpine or similar medicines known as rauwolfia alkaloids.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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