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Periwinkle or Vinca rosea, Sadabahar
Latin: Cantharanthus roseus,
Indian: Sadabahar, Sadapushpi, Sadaphuli, Baramasi
Common name: Periwinkle, Vince, Rosy periwinkle, Madagascar periwinkle, Cape periwinkle, Old maid, etc.
Vinca rosea or periwinkle is grown in India. There are 2 varieties that are grown for its medicinal value - the pink and the white colored flower varieties.
Ornamental varieties have been developed whose flowers are more colorful.
The medicinal variety has white flowers and the pink flowers have a dark pink eye in the center.
The plant is rich in chemical substances like vinblastine and vincristine, is helpful in the treatment of Leukemia in children and lymphoma. The group of alkaloid which is present in it can be virtually used in the treatment of cancer. The alkaloids may have certain side effects on the body. Traditionally the root bark of periwinkle is used for treatment. It has calming effect and it can also reduce blood pressure and it also contains the alkaloids Alstonine.
Periwinkle is poisonous in nature and restricted for external use like injection or smoking. It has been poisonous for animals grazed on it. It has unwanted side effects after used for the treatment of cancer by doctors. If consumed orally it has hallucinating effect. It is harmful for kidney and may cause nerve problem. Very low dosage of the plant only under the supervision of doctor is strictly recommended.