The pretty pink flower that has the power to heal!



As you already know, the Rosy Periwinkle is a medicinal plant that is a primary producer in our environment. Thus, plants form the base of the terrestrial food chain. However, Catharanthus roseus has leaves that are very glossy and even potent to other animals such as deer and various types of insects. These glossy leaves are what give the periwinkle their medicinal value. Loaded with alkaloids like vincristine (see picture at the bottom of this page) and vinblastine, these two compounds have been turned into commercial drugs, Velban and Oncovin respectively.


*Photo above: Courtesy of Jakob Kagel,

In the Philippines, the Madagascar Periwinkle was even used for treating diabetes during the Second World War. Back in 1958, some extract of the periwinkle, tested very potent. This led to further plant extractions that were tested on lab animals, and results showed that the extract lowered white blood-cell counts. This research has led to the alkaloids significant use in the fighting against childhood leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. Once officially approved as a commercial drug during the 1960's, this anticancer agent has helped save the lives of many patients!  

The Madagascar periwinkle is not alone when it comes to plants with amazing medicinal properties. Have a look at each of these plant species to see how each of them can help you in some way or another!  They include: the Opium Poppy, China Rose, Foxglove, the Purple Passion flower, and the Pomegranate.

The journey is almost complete! Now take a look at some interesting FACTS about the Rosy Periwinkle.


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