Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is taking over my driveway! It was beautiful a couple weeks ago with all the pretty purple flowers. The flowers have mostly faded and now it's mostly bright green leaves. On my never ending information search I decided to learn about my new plant ally: Mrs. Periwinkle.

Quoted from Mountain Rose Herbs:

"...The garden periwinkle is the source of a chemical that can be turned into vinpocetine, a natural treatment for aging minds. Originating in Madagascar but now growing wild in warm climates around the world, periwinkle has enjoyed a variety of medicinal applications.
In Europe, periwinkle teas were used as a folk remedy for diabetes. In Hawaii, the plant was boiled to make a poultice used as a bandage to stop bleeding. In China, periwinkles became cough medicine, and in India, they were juiced to make a remedy to stop the pain of wasp stings. Throughout the Caribbean, periwinkles were used to treat infections„and as a protection against voodoo magic.
...The periwinkle contains vincamine, precursor chemical vinpocetine, in its leaves and seeds.
...More often used as tincture, can be encapsulated or served as tea.
...There is some clinical evidence that the periwinkle chemical vinpocetine can increase blood flow to the brain, increasing oxygenation, and also protect brain cells from damage by a chemical called phosphodiesterase. In one study, a majority of 203 clinical study volunteers with dementia experienced measurable improvement after treatment.
Vinpocetine is also commended for memory enhancement in health people, and tried as a means of reducing brain injury after strokes.
Precautions: Periwinkle is the source of vinpocetine; it is not pure vinpocetine. If you use the whole herb you are relying on a rounded blend of healing chemicals found in the minimally processed plant.
Periwinkle does not cause any known interactions with blood thinning medications (such as aspirin, Coumarin, Plavix, Ticlid, or Trental), although vinpocetine extracted from it does. Vinpocetine can cause either increased or decreased bleeding depending on the medication; this is why whole periwinkle is preferred."

Brain Tea sounds good :)

And from
"...Culpepper says that it: 'stays bleeding at the mouth and nose, if it be chewed . . . and may be used with advantage in hysteric and other fits.... It is good in nervous disorders, the young tops made into a conserve is good for the night-mare. The small periwinkle possesses all the virtues of the other kind and may very properly supply its place.
...A homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the fresh leaves of Vinca minor and: 'is given medicinally for the milk-crust of infants as well as for internal haemorrhages, the dose being from 2 to 10 drops, three or four times in the day, with a spoonful of water.'

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