Ammocallis rosea, Cape Periwinkle, Catharanthe, Catharanthus, Catharanthus roseus, Chang Chu Hua, Church-Flower, Lochnera rosea, Magdalena, Myrtle, Old Maid, Periwinkle, Pervenche de Madagascar, Pervenche Rose, Ram-Goat Rose, Ratanjot, Red Periwinkle, Rose Amère, Vinca, Vinca rosea, Vincapervinca de Madagascar.
Madagascar periwinkle is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.
Despite serious safety concerns, Madagascar periwinkle is used for diabetes, cancer, and sore throat. It is also used as a cough remedy, for easing lung congestion, and to reduce fluid retention by increasing urine production (as a diuretic).
Some people apply Madagascar periwinkle directly to the skin to stop bleeding; relieve insect bites, wasp stings, and eye irritation; and treat infections and swelling (inflammation).
How does it work?
Madagascar periwinkle might alter the immune system, increase the production of urine (diuretic), and lower blood sugar.
Vinblastine and vincristine, some chemicals that can be taken out of Madagascar periwinkle, are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in chemotherapy. These chemicals are used against cancers such as Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, Kaposi's sarcoma, malignant lymphomas, mycosis fungoides , neuroblastoma, and Wilm's tumor.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Fluid retention.
- Lung congestion.
- Sore throat.
- Eye irritation, when applied to the eye.
- Skin infections, when applied to the skin.
- Stopping bleeding, when applied to the skin.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Madagascar periwinkle is UNSAFE when taken by mouth due to the presence of poisonous chemicals known as vinca alkaloids. Madagascar periwinkle can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, hearing loss, dizziness, bleeding, nerve problems, seizures, liver damage, low blood sugar, and even death.
There isn't enough information to know if it is safe for use on the skin.
It's also UNSAFE to use Madagascar periwinkle if you are breast-feeding, because of the poisonous chemicals it contains.
Diabetes: Madagascar periwinkle seems to be able to lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might lower blood sugar too much in people with diabetes who are using antidiabetes medications. Medication doses might need to be changed.
Surgery: Madagascar periwinkle seems to be able to lower blood sugar levels. Some doctors worry that Madagascar periwinkle might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using Madagascar periwinkle at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
LithiumInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Madagascar periwinkle might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking Madagascar periwinkle might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Madagascar periwinkle might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Madagascar periwinkle along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of Madagascar periwinkle depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Madagascar periwinkle. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.
Ellenhorn MJ, et al. Ellenhorn's Medical Toxicology: Diagnoses and Treatment of Human Poisoning. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1997.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 1998.
The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999.