Lesser Periwinkle/Petit Pervenche - Vinca Minor
A perennial and evergreen plant that often is variegated when grown in the garden, where it propagates by rooting it’s trailing stems. A very useful plant that can be picked and used all year round, although the new spring growth contains the most medicinal properties.
Periwinkle contains tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and pectin. It has astringent, sedative, hypotensive, hypoglycemic and vulnerary properties.
All parts of the plant can be used. It is a source of vinpocetine, a chemical that provides a natural treatment to aging minds by improving blood flow to the brain, particularly useful after a stroke. It also reduces high blood pressure. Use of the whole plant does not contra-indicate blood thinning medications, unlike the vinpocetine often extracted from it does.
In tincture or tea form, it can be used to treat diarrhea and eases indigestion, gas, heals peptic ulcers and helps clear catarrh.
Periwinkle also reduces tension, relieves anxiety and clears the mind. It is known to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics and reduces excessive menstrual bleeding.
Externally it can be used to stop nosebleeds and bleeding from cuts. It relieves bruising, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, acne and cradle cap. A periwinkle mouthwash or chewed leaves can be used to heal mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, toothache and tonsillitis.