Periwinkle is an evergreen perennial shrub cultivated in Europe, Northwestern Africa, Central Asia and some parts of North America. It has numerous branches that can reach up to 2½ feet in height on full maturity. The oval shaped leaves have a glossy surface. The flowers are white to pinkish in color with five-lobed petals. The periwinkle can be found in two varieties, namely, lesser and greater. Apart from being beautiful to look at, the plant has some great medicinal properties associated with it. Since ages, periwinkle has been used for various medicinal purposes and applications in Europe, China, Hawaii and Caribbean. Read on further to find some health and nutrition benefits of consuming periwinkle.
Health Benefits of Periwinkle
- Periwinkle has been known to possess analgesic, antibiotic, antibacterial, laxative and hypotensive properties.
- The periwinkle poultice is used to prepare a bandage for stopping bleeding in wounds.
- The plant is being used to treat infections and serves as a protection against voodoo magic.
- It is an astringent herb which is used as a mouth rinse to soothe the pain for canker sores.
- Periwinkle contains tannins that bind up fluids and relieves inflammation.
- It produces an alkaloid called vincamine that helps in promoting the aerobic glycolysis, essential to cerebral health.
- Periwinkle is recommended by many herbalists to women for excessive bleeding during menstruation.
- While the lesser periwinkle helps improving blood circulation especially in the brain, the greater periwinkle is used for treating anxiety or nervousness and reducing blood pressure.
- Periwinkle is a useful treatment for colitis, diabetes, diarrhea, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, sore throats and mouth ulcers.
- Periwinkle leaves are bruised and applied directly to the affected areas to treat wasp stings, relieve eye inflammation and stop bleeding.
- Periwinkle tea has anti-cancer and blood sugar lowering properties.
- The tea helps treating memory loss problems and improves blood circulation.
- It aids in the treatment of mouth sores, headaches and diarrhea.
- Add 1 teaspoonful of dried periwinkle plant into a cup of boiling water. Allow the tea to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 3 times a day.
- Boil some periwinkle leaves in water. Soak a cloth into the liquid and apply to the affected areas of wasp stings.
- Soak 4 petals of periwinkle in a glass of water overnight. Filter the water the next morning and drink it to treat anemia.
- Periwinkle is not recommended for people suffering from low blood pressure and constipation.
- Also people who have kidney, liver or lung disease should not try consuming periwinkle herb.
- Care should be taken while giving periwinkle to children or pregnant women.
- Regular consumption of periwinkle can result in flushing and gastrointestinal problems.
- It is advisable to consult a herbalist or a doctor before consuming periwinkle.