[raw-wool-fee-uh, rou-]
any tropical tree or shrub of the genus Rauwolfia, as R. serpentina, of India.
an extract from the roots of the rauwolfia, R. serpentina, containing alkaloids the most important of which is reserpine: used in medicine chiefly for the treatment of hypertension and as a sedative.

1745–55; < Neo-Latin, named after L. Rauwolf, 16th-century German botanist; see -ia

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World English Dictionary
rauwolfia (rɔːˈwʊlfɪə, raʊ-)
1.  any tropical tree or shrub of the apocynaceous genus Rauwolfia, esp R. serpentina of SE Asia
2.  the powdered root of R. serpentina: a source of various drugs, esp reserpine
[C19: New Latin, named after Leonhard Rauwolf (died 1596), German botanist]

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Rauwolfia: botany, pharmacognosy, chemistry and pharmacology.
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