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The "ever-blooming blossom," or Sadabahar, aka "Madagascar Periwinkle" in English, "Nayantara" in Bengali, "Ushamalari" in Malayalam, and "Sadapushpa" in Hindi, is famous in herbal and modern medicine.
In addition to reducing the risk of developing cancer, it is used to treat many health issues, including diabetes, sore throats, lung congestion, skin infections, and eye irritation.
Essentially a native of Madagascar, the plant is now found to be growing all over the world. The flowers come in 2 colours, dark pinkish-purple and milky white. It can be used as:
a. The freshly plucked leaves can be chewed to kickstart the day
b. Leaves boiled in water can be filtered and drank
c. Dried periwinkle leaves/flowers are available as a powder for consumption with water or fruit juice.
Benefits of Madagascar periwinkle:
The flower extract activates the beta-pancreatic cells' insulin production, which reduces the breakdown of starch into glucose, leading to low blood glucose levels.
The plant is consumed daily to help control the body's insulin levels in the Philippines and China.
2. Respiratory disorders
The active ingredients in flowers provide the best treatment for bronchitis, COPD, asthma, cough, and cold symptoms. Additionally, it relieves congestion, sore throats, coughs, and mucus buildup in the respiratory tract.
3. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
The cardio-tonic properties of periwinkle flowers enhance cardiovascular endurance, stabilising blood pressure.
4. Enhances cognitive functions
Flavonoids and antioxidants enhance memory, concentration, calmness, and focus. The neuroprotective components ease tension in the brain, promote proper blood and slow the ageing of brain cells.
5. Improves skin health
It treats free radical damage from sun rays, reducing signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, spots, dark circles, etc. It aids in reducing acne and pimples and soothes skin infections like rosacea and eczema.
6. Regulates menstrual cycle
Extracts from periwinkle plants aid blood cleansing and uterine health restoration, promoting regular, healthy menstrual cycles.
7. Quickens wound healing
It helps disinfect a wound or bite to prevent the spread of infection.
8. Anti-cancer effects
It boosts immunity, assists in the reduction of tumours, and prevents metastasis. In the case of leukaemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma, the active ingredients vincristine and vinblastine are particularly beneficial.
From the roadside to our gardens, periwinkle is omnipresent. These plants are easy to grow, need very little care, and bloom in all seasons. Apart from its ornamental use, periwinkle's medicinal properties are yet to be harnessed to their full potential.
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