Sophisticated advancements in chemistry combined with changing pattern of consumer preference have revolutionized the chemical maneuvering of medicinal herbs. Semi purified/purified chemical derivatives of herbs like extracts, fractionates, isolates are being preferred over the whole herb for therapeutic uses. As a logical spin off, this also has thrown up a debate, if these chemical derivatives are medicinally better than the herb. In addition to the classical support for the use of whole herb, many recent research findings also indicate that extracts are always not necessarily better medicinal substance than the whole herb as in case of root of Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia) ‘serpentine’ herb and its alkaloid reserpine agement of hypertension and other CNS diseases.
Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina) is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae. About 80 alkaloids are isolated from Rauvolfia species among them reserpine is most important principal active constituent.
The authors suggest, it is prudent to use the whole herb for therapeutic applications, until and unless any chemical derivative is proved to be better than the whole herb. The authors do recognize the importance of chemical standardization of the herbs for quality assurance and strongly advocates for it. Finally, the objective of this article is not to show the extracts in a poorer light, but to critically evaluate the trend of chemically purifying herbs. Unfortunately, owing to lack of such assessments, extraction has become a fashion in herbal industry rather than a justified requirement.
So the author compiled all the important scattered findings on this plant and accommodate in the form of a manuscripts, so that students,research scholars and scientists related to this field can avail it.