Herb Information Periwinkle or Sadabahaar

Periwinkle/ Vinca or Sadabahar is an erect herbaceous perennial ornamental and medicinal plant which can be easily seen in gardens, wastelands and roadsides. It is easily identified by its purple/white flowers and green leaves.


This plant is native of Madagascar and is distributed in West Indies, Mozambique, South Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Australia. In India, it is cultivated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Assam.

This plant is mainly available in two varieties, one with pink and other with white flowers. Its leaves are glossy, oval and dark green in colour. This plant contains Alkaloids which have hypotensive, sedative, tranquilising and anti-cancerous properties.

Latin name: Catharanthus roseus
Synonym: Vinca rosea L., Lochnera rosea (L.) Reichub
Family: Apocynaceae.
Sanskrit: Nitya-kalyani
English: Madagascar Periwinkle, Cape Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle, Old maid
Hindi: Sadabahar, Baramassi
Malyalam: Ushamalari, Nityakalyani
Telugu: Billaganeru
Tamil: Sudukattu mallikai
Punjabi: Rattanjot
Kannada: Kasikanigale, Nitya Mallige
Common names: Sada-bahaar, Nayantaaraa, Nityakalyaani
Part used: Leaves, roots

Periwinkle has following scientifically proven properties

Periwinkle has analgesic, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiseptic, CNS depressant, blood purifying, diuretic, emetic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, laxative, tranquilizer and teratogenic ( agent that can disturb the development of an embryo or fetus. Teratogens may cause a birth defect in the child. Or a teratogen may halt the pregnancy outright) properties. It is used in treatment of many diseases specially diabetes. Below is given few home remedies using Sadabahar or Periwinkle. Periwinkle should be used always in recommended dosage. It should not be used in pregnancy

  • Hypoglycaemic
  • Diuretic, anti-dysenteric
  • Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anthelmintic
  • Anti-cancer

In traditional medicine it is used to treat diabetes. For this purpose it 4-5 leaves or 7 flowers are taken empty stomach in the morning with water. Its leaves juice are useful in treating insect sting. The leaves are also used to prepare gargle to get relief from sore throat. The decoction of its leaves is used to cure indigestion. The leaves Periwinkle contain alkaloids vinblastine and vincristine which have anti-cancerous properties. Its roots have alkaloid raubasine (ajmalicine), reserpine and serpentine which is used in the preparation of antifibrotic (inhibit fibrosis) and hypertension lowering medicines. The root of plant is tonic, stomachic, hypotensive, sedative and tranquilliser.

Wasp bites, insect sting

Apply leaves juice of Periwinkle.


1. Prepare juice of 1 cucumber + bitter gourd + 1 tomato. Add paste of 5-7 Periwinkle flowers and drink.

2. 2-3 leaves of Periwinkle + Periwinkle root, boiled in water, filtered and taken empty stomach to control diabetes.

3. Five leaves three times a day keeps diabetes in control

4. Young buds, soaked overnight and and the water taken in.

Skin diseases, boils and pimples, blood impurities

Daily eating 2-3 leaves of Periwinkle detoxifies body.

Weakness, tonic

Make a powder by mixing root powder (100grams) of Sadabahar and Mishri (400 gram). Eat one teaspoon of this powder, empty stomach.

Note: Do not use more than 4-5 leaves or 7 flower’s because it can cause some side effects.

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