As a glycoside (with sugars)

Herbal medicines a Guide for Healthcare professionals


Radix Senegae is made of the dried roots and root crowns of Polygala senega L., Polygala senega L. var. latifolia Torrey et Gray, or other closely associated Polygala species (Polygalaceae) (1-3).


Polygala senegum L. (), P. rosea Steud., Senega officinalis Spach ().

Chosen vernacular names

Bambara, bulughâ lon, gizr uththuban, Klapperschlangenwurzel, hill flax, peuhl, polygala de virginie, racine de polygala, racine de senega, Radix polygalae, Radix polygalae senegae, rattlesnake root, seneca snakeroot, Senegakreuzblume, senega root, senega snakeroot, Senegawurzel, serpent root, szenega gyökér, tsuknida, vahulill, virginische Schlangenwurzel, yoruba (1-3, 5-7).

Geographic circulation

Indigenous to east Canada and north-eastern united states (6-8).


A perennial herbaceous plant with many stems sprouting from a single thick gnarled crown arising from a conical, twisted, branched yellow root. Aerial portion comes with a few erect or ascending, smooth stems to 15-40 cm high, bearing alternate, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate leaves with serrulate margins. Inflorescence a spike of little, white plants, which are almost sessile with rounded-obovate wings, concave with a short crested carina (, ).

Plant product interesting: dried out roots and root crowns

General appearance

Root crown greyish-brown, larger as compared to root; diameter regarding the root top around 3 cm, gradually tapering toward tip; area transversely and longitudinally striated, often shows an even more or less distinct decurrent, elongated spiral keel. Forms an irregular mind composed of numerous keeps of stems and firmly Radix Senegae stuffed purplish-brown to red buds. Taproot, 0.5-1.5 cm in diameter and 3-20 cm long, brown to yellow, periodically branched, often flexuous, usually without additional origins, except when you look at the Japanese types and species, that incorporate numerous fibrous branched rootlets. Fracture short and reveals a yellowish cortex of different width surrounding a pale central woody area somewhat circular or unusual in form, according to the species (1-3).

Organoleptic properties

Odour: characteristic, light, nice, slightly rancid or similar to methyl salicylate, sternutatory whenever in powder form; style: nice, later acrid and annoying towards the throat (1-3).

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