Vinca major. N.O. Apocynaceae.
Synonym ► Greater Periwinkle. Habitat ► Woods and shady banks.
Features ► About a foot high, the stem is smooth and cylindrical, with the shiny egg- to-lance-shaped leaves growing opposite at intervals of two to three inches ; the larger lower leave’s are one and a half to three inches long by one to two inches broad, all being entire at the edges. The bright, blue-purple, rotate flowers bloom as large as a florin. The taste is slightly bitter and acrid, and there is no smell.
Part used ► The herb.
Action ► Astringent and tonic.
The infusion of 1 ounce to 1 pint is useful in internal hemorrhages and diarrhea, as a gargle for inflammatory conditions of the throat, and as an injection for menorrhagia and leucorrhea.
Periwinkle has been employed for many years in the treatment of
diabetes. A report from South Africa, stating that a registration officer in Durban was declared cured of this disease after two months treatment with the herb, aroused much attention and considerable notice in the South African and British Press. There appears to be some ground for belief that the administration of Vinca major, combined, of course, with proper dietetic and other treatment, can be of benefit to diabetics.