Periwinkle Medicinal Uses

My husband planted a bunch of Madagascar Periwinkle seeds on one of our hills to secure it and prevent mudslides.  They are just beginning to bloom and look just beautiful!  So, while watching The Dr. Oz Show, to my surprise, I found out that periwinkle has a medical value which saves lives.  Dr. Oz stated that it helps those with leukemia.  Drug manufactures combine them with other chemicals to create drugs to cure cancer and more.  Of course, I just had to research periwinkle further and found periwinkle used as an herb helps much more than cancer.


You may be interested in knowing that periwinkle tea is used in Jamaica as an anecdote for diabetes. It reduces blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure levels.  In the 1950’s while researching the plant for its diabetic cures, instead of finding a diabetic cure (though successfully used in other countries), 2 anti-cancer alkaloids were discovered in the plant.  These alkaloids have the ability of inhibiting the growth of tumors in humans and when attaching to certain proteins will kill cancer cells.  The alkaloid, incristine, has proven more effective in treating childhood leukemia.  The alkaloid, vinblastine, has been known to successfully treat testicle cancer and Hodgkin’s Disease.

The medicinal uses don’t stop there.

A small amount of periwinkle can help improve circulation especially in the brain.  A large amount can help in treating anxiety, nervousness and high blood pressure.

In India they used periwinkle to treat wasp stings.  In Hawaii they boiled periwinkle to create a treatment for external bleeding.  In Central America and some parts of South America they used periwinkle as a gargle to ease sore throats and chest conditions.  Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands used periwinkle as a treatment for eye conditions.  Majority of these countries continue to use periwinkle for these ailments today.

Comments on other websites

One person left a comment on one site stating that they take it as a tea (boiled in water) when they have an upset stomach or need a sleep aid.  They said that they feel very refreshed the next morning and wondered if it contained iron.

On another site someone said that their mother was from Cuba and used to boil the white periwinkle flowers and use it as an eye wash for infections and mouthwash for strep throat and that it worked.

On that same site a comment was quoted from someone from India stating you can take 4 white flowers in the morning on an empty stomach for 7 days, stop for 7 days and repeat and it will help you lose weight and feel good.  He also mentions that when mixed with other herbs it can treat diabetes.


One website stated that these alkaloids had the ability to induce the same side effects as chemotherapy (a cancer treatment), nausea and hair loss in cancer patients.  How much one would have to consume for these side effects to occur was not mentioned.

Other side effects include gastrointestinal problems and flushing.

It is suggested to never take periwinkle long term.

Because there have been few studies on the medicinal uses of periwinkle, it is best to experiment with an herbal supplement that states a suggested dose.

This is intended for informational purposes only.  Always consult a professional when taking any supplement or herb.


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