Anti-Cancer Properties And Other Health Benefits Of Madagascar Periwinkle (Chichirica Or Kantotai)

Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), also known as rosy periwinkle, rose periwinkle, Cape periwinkle, or old maid, is grown as an ornamental and medicinal plant. It contains more than 70 powerful alkaloids, most of which are well-known for their medicinal properties. This pretty plant from Madagascar gives us two very important cancer-fighting compounds: vinblastine and vincristine, which are used against cancer.

Madagascar periwinkle, famously known as chichirica or kantotai in the Philippines, is a smooth or slightly hairy branched evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant about 1 m tall. It is mostly found in coastal habitats and sandy locations along the coast. Some also grow in dry waste place, roadsides, or on rocky soils. Its leaves are oval to oblong and its flower has a pink, rose-purple or white with a purple, red, pink, pale yellow or white center color.

This plant is used for cancer, sore throat, and diabetes. Aside from this, it also used for easing lung congestion, as a cough remedy, and increases urine production (a diuretic), thereby reducing fluid retention.

You can also apply rosy periwinkle directly to relieve eye irritation, insect bites, and wasp sting; stop bleeding, and treat infections as well as swelling (inflammation).

Listed Below Are Few Of The Popular Health Benefits Of Madagascar Periwinkle

Against Diabetes

Madagascar periwinkle is traditionally used in treating diabetes. In order to help manage insulin level in the body and minimize high blood pressure, boil the plant for several minutes and consume daily.


Madagascar periwinkle is a popular herbal treatment for cancer such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, neuroblastoma, malignant lymphomas, Wilm’s tumor, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and mycosis fungoides. The plant helps prevent the propagation of cancer cells to the rest of the body when taken in the form of tea. The Vincristine in this plant is the one responsible for its powerful anti-cancer properties.

Enhances Memory

Present in the leaves and seeds of Madagascar periwinkle is a good amount of vincamine, an alkaloid that has been linked to enhanced memory and increased cognitive function.

Helps Treat Wounds

Madagascar periwinkle is effective in treating wounds. Just boil a handful of its leaves. Take a pure cotton cloth, sterilize it by boiling in water and squeeze out the water. Dip the cloth in the prepared extract and squeeze little so that the cloth is not dripping and place the cloth over the wound like a bandage.

Remedy For Sore Throat

A tea made from Madagascar periwinkle is a solution for sore and strep throat infections. Just gargle the tea twice or thrice a day. Avoid overdoing it as it could be deadly.

Beneficial For Wasp Stings

External use of periwinkle leaves on the affected area treats wasp stings and wounds. Wash a handful of fresh Madagascar periwinkle leaves and pound in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste without adding water. Apply the paste on the affected area and tie using a thin muslin cloth to prevent it from falling down.

Skin Problems

The herb has astringent properties making it a good remedy for wounds, eczema, bleeding, sore throat, canker sores, and abscesses.

Eases Stress And Anxiety

Madagascar periwinkle can be an effective cure for stress and anxiety as it improves circulation and lowers the levels of blood pressure.

Good For The Eyes

The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb could be used to heal eye inflammation.

Stimulates Better Circulation

According to people who have tried Madagascar periwinkle, a concoction prepared from its leaves could improve your immunity and energy levels by improving the circulation of blood and oxygen.

Could Help On Curbing Bleeding

Madagascar periwinkle enhances healing. The oil extracted from the leaves could ease the bleeding hemorrhoids, curing bleeding of nose and gums, and helps in regulating excessive bleeding during menstruation and menopause.

Remedy For Oral Sores

The herb’s astringent properties make it a wonderful solution for canker sores. Just rinse your mouth with Madagascar periwinkle tea for you to ease the inflammation and pain of oral sores.

Helps In Keeping Your Heart Safe

Reserpine, an alkaloid found in Madagascar periwinkle, has the ability to lower the levels of blood pressure, thereby protecting your heart from fatal conditions, like stroke.

Irregular Menstruation

For you to control your heavy menstrual flow and regularize scanty flow, take 6 to 8 fresh leaves and boil it with 2 cups of water and reduced to half a cup. Drink the tea regularly for three consecutive menstrual cycles.