Periwinkle is no longer used to any extent as a traditional supportive, but is of more interest as a source material to extract pure alkaloids. The main alkaloid, vincamine, can be used to help support cerebral senility (dizziness, memory loss and other symptoms of old age) and several other cerebrovascular disorders.
Periwinkle Vinca minor L.
Other Names: Common periwinkle; lesser periwinkle; petite pervenche (French); Kleines Immergrün (German); pervinca minore (Italian); vincapervinca menor (Spanish).
Description: The common periwinkle is a small herbaceous perennial that spreads with trailing branches. It has shiny, opposite leaves and attractive blue flowers. Greater periwinkle (V. major) is very similar but has larger flowers.
Origin: Europe (often in the vicinity of castles and old human settlements); commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant.
Parts Used: Leaves or aboveground parts (Vincae minoris folium); today mainly the isolated vincamine.
Preparation and Dosage: Due to potential side effects (leukocytopaenia, lymphocytopenia), the herb itself is rarely used. Vincamine is given orally (as a supplements) at a level of 40 - 60 mg per day.
Active Ingredients: The plant contains about thirty monoterpene indole alkaloids at a level of up to 1% of dry weight (wild plants), or up to 4% (in cultivation). Vincamine is the major constituent and represents about 10% of the total alkaloids. A bitter principal vincine, is also present, together with phenolic compounds.
Health Effects: Extracts showed hypotensive, spasmolytic, hypoglycaemic, immune-stimulant, cytotoxic, and analgesic properties. Animal and human studies have shown that vincamine reduces the blood pressure, and helps support the increase blood flow to the brain and thus the oxygen and glucose supply.
Notes: Vincamine has a low bioavailability, so that slow-release formulations have been developed. The alkaloid is nowadays largely produced through semisynthesis from tabersonine, an alkaloid extracted from the seeds of the tropical African Voacanga africana and V. thouarsii. The term "vinca alkaloids" usually refers to the alkaloids obtained from Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus previously known as Vinca rosea).
Status: Traditional and modern health: vincamine.
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Take 1 capsule, 3 times daily, with meals.
Side effects from oral use of Periwinkle have been slight and usually disappear after taking the supplement for awhile or after discontinuing use.
Some people noted a brief drop in blood pressure or faster heart rate after starting this supplement.
Periwinkle has not been found to interact with other drugs.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."