What are the health benefits of periwinkle?

Periwinkle is an herbaceous plant with opposite evergreen leaves and dark blue flowers. It is part of the Apocynaceae botanical family and its scientific name is Vinca minor. It is also recognized under vernacular names such as “sorcerer’s violet”, “nasturtium grass” or even “violet of the dead”. It is a very widespread plant in Europe and grows in abundance in parks, hedges and undergrowth. In terms of chemical composition, it contains vincamine, indole alkaloids and tannins. Note that these components are primarily responsible for its healing qualities.

Therapeutic uses

The different indications of periwinkle in herbal medicine are:

  • Disorders of the first part of the digestive system: canker sores, inflammation of the gums, throat irritation and angina
  • skin problems: wounds, sores, bruises and hemorrhage
  • Decline in cognitive performance: memory problems and difficulty concentrating
  • Circulatory and cardiovascular disorders: hypertension, arteriosclerosis, tinnitus, vertigo and cerebral ischemia
  • Raynaud’s disease: feeling cold in the extremities such as the hands and feet

Forms and preparations

In phytotherapy, the most used parts are the leaves. Generally, we find the small periwinkle in the form of herbal tea or decoction, dry extracts, mother tincture, macerate of bud and capsule.

Directions for use and recommended dosage

In order to take advantage of health benefits of periwinklean equivalent dose of 40 to 60 mg per day of vincamine is recommended for oral administration.

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Herbal tea or decoction

Steep for 10 minutes 1 tablespoon of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water. Consume up to 3 cups a day.

For decoctions for external use, boil for 3 minutes 1 liter of water and 50 g of dried leaves. Filter then use the preparation as a gargle to treat sore throats and oral ailments. To treat open wounds, apply the preparation as a compress or make a poultice of fresh leaves crushed.

Mother tincture:

For a cure lasting 25 days, take daily in the morning and evening 15 drops of tinctures diluted in a little water.

Bud macerate:

Take up to 15 drops of macerate per day, in its pure form or diluted in water, outside of meals. For a cure: 3 weeks of daily intake, then one week off, for a maximum of 3 months. In maintenance, the catch must be done 1 week per month.


For a cure of 3 to 6 months, take 3 capsules 30 minutes before the 3 main meals of the day.

Precautions for use

The small periwinkle mainly used externally. For internal uses, it is better to refer to the advice of a doctor. Indeed, the ingestion of this plant can be toxic. It is also to be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding women.


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