The extract of the plant has used for millennia in IndiaAlexander the Great administered this plant to cure his general Ptolemy I Soter of a poisoned arrow.It was reported that Mahatma Gandhi took it as a tranquilizer during his lifetime.[8] The plant contains reserpine, which was used as a pharmaceutical drug in Western medicine from 1954 to 1957 to treat high blood pressure and mental disorders including schizophrenia.It is one of the 50 fundamental herbsused intraditional Chinese medicine, where it has the name shégēn mù.

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