Periwinkle or Sadabahar is a medicinal herb, which is also known as the ‘ever-blooming blossom’ as it blooms for the whole 12 months. Belonging to the Apocynacea family, it’s botanical name is Catharanthus roseus. Periwinkle is commonly known as ‘Madagascar Periwinkle’ in English, ‘Nayantara’ in Bengali and ‘Sadabahar’ in Hindi. It is a shrub that grows to a height of 1-2.5 m.
In this article, we will discuss how to lower blood pressure with periwinkle leaves along with some other medical benefits.
Chemical Composition of Periwinkle
Sadabahar or periwinkle is a herbal plant consisting of various components such as –
Recent researches suggest that vincristine and vinblastine helps in treating certain blood cancers.
Ayurveda proposes that Periwinkle pacifies Kapha Dosha and has a bitter and astringent taste. Periwinkle has properties like anti-tumor, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying which are specifically very helpful in treating diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Lowering Blood Pressure With Periwinkle
Studies suggest that more than 60% of people are facing high blood pressure problems above 40 years of age, and to prevent from being hypertensive, people are spending a huge amount of money on antihypertensive medications, though they can easily control it with the help of natural herbs.
Periwinkle has antioxidative and antihypertensive properties which makes it perfectly suitable for lowering high blood pressure. Though it tastes bitter and has an irritating smell, it is one of the cheapest as well as the easiest way to control high blood pressure.
It’s chemical compounds help in improving the heart functions, thus enhancing cardiovascular endurance which brings down the blood pressure to a stable level and maintains balanced readings.
The cardio-tonic property of periwinkle comes from its beautiful flowers and is beneficial in treating mild to moderate hypertension and also helps in preventing pre-hypertension.
The flowers of Periwinkle can be classified broadly into two diversities:
- Dark Pinkish-purple
- Milky White
Periwinkle with Milky White flowers is more beneficial in lowering in blood pressure.
Dosage of Periwinkle
The suitable dosage of periwinkle depends on numerous factors like age, health and various other conditions. It is recommended that you take white periwinkle leaves and flowers as they are much better in controlling hypertension than pink periwinkle.
Below is the step-by-step instructions of making a Periwinkle juice –
- Collect 5 good quality fresh Periwinkle leaves
- Grind them well to make a paste
- Now, boil the paste in purified water
- Filter the liquid from the mixture
It is recommended to take 2-3 ml of the liquid daily in the early morning on an empty stomach till the hypertension comes down to a stable state.
Other Health Benefits of Periwinkle
Sadabahar or periwinkle is used in enormous fields of medical science. Apart from treating hypertension, it is used in diabetes, malaria, leukaemia, and cancer.
Here are some of the other benefits of Periwinkle –
1) Diabetes: Sadabahar has metformin which acts as a glucose lowering agent and helps in controlling diabetes. It is recommended to take 1 tsp of dried leaf powder with hot water or fresh juice on an empty stomach every morning.
2) Respiratory Anomalies: Sadabahar has always been an effective ayurvedic remedy for all kinds of Kapha aggravating disorders. The chemical constituents in periwinkle flowers offer an ultimate remedy for treating respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), cough and cold symptoms.
Other helpful conditions of sadabahar are removing mucus deposits from the respiratory tract and providing relief from sore throat, cough and congestion.
3) Cognitive Functioning: Sadabahar has always been a traditional medicine to increase the functioning of the brain. The antioxidizing agent and the flavonoids present in periwinkle helps to improve the memory capacity, concentration, calmness, focus, and alertness.
Research shows that people consuming extracts of sadabahar have improved memory, reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Sadabahar also facilitates proper blood circulation in the brain tissues and relieves tension and stress.
4) Skin Health: Sadabahar being stuffed with constituents like alkaloids and skin-enhancing agents, plays a vital role in oxidizing the skin and helps to regain back its charm which is damaged due to the sun rays. It helps in treating wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, etc.
Sadabahar is also effective in preventing skin infections such as Eczema and Rosacea. It also reduces acne and pimples and give a smooth and glowing skin.
Side Effects of Periwinkle
Though periwinkle or sadabahar is useful in various medical fields, it is associated with some side effects, if taken in large amounts.
On heavy use, periwinkle can cause nausea, vomiting, and intestine-related problems. It can also affect nerves, kidney, and liver. Also, using sadabahar for a longer duration or having it in huge amounts can cause very low blood pressure.
You should not take Periwinkle if you are going through:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is prescribed not to use sadabahar in pregnancy and breast-feeding.
- Constipation: If you are suffering from constipation, avoid taking periwinkle as it has the drying effect on tissues.
- Low Blood Pressure: Periwinkle is an antihypertensive agent, so if you are already experiencing hypotension or low blood pressure, don’t use periwinkle leaves.
- Surgery: If you are undergoing a surgery, then you are advised to stop using periwinkle at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
Periwinkle is a wonder shrub that can help in lowering blood pressure, control diabetes, cancer, sore throat, and many other diseases. But, take it in a moderate amount to get the best out of it.