Shan Ma Ti – Devil Pepper Root – Radix Rauvolfiae

Shan Ma Ti

English Name: (common) devil pepper root

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Rauvolfiae

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs

Properties: Shan Ma Ti enters the Lung, Liver, and Heart channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Shan Ma Ti?:

The Chinese Herb Shan Ma Ti is the dried root of the common devil pepper plant (Rauvolfia verticillate (Lour.) Baill), a plant distinguishable by its white flowers and whorled leaves growing from the stem in groups of three or four. It grows in lowland forests, riverbanks, and brush areas where there is ample water and ranges throughout Southeast Asia; in China, it is found/cultivated mainly in Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, and Yunnan provinces.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Shan Ma Ti:

Shan Ma Ti clears heat-toxins, invigorates blood circulation and relieves pain. It can be used externally to treat toxic snake bites, bleeding from knife wounds, and dermatological lesions. Internally it can be combined with other herbs to treat herpes zoster, leukorrhea, heat stroke, or sore throat.

Shan Ma Ti is anchors Liver Yang Rising from excess fire and is used in China to lower blood pressure attributed to this cause.