Family • Apocynaceae - Catharanthus roseus Linn. - PINK PERIWINKLE - Zhang chun hua
|Catharanthus roseus (Linn.) Don.|
|Lochnera rosea Linn.|
|Vinca rosea Linn.|
|Ammocallis rosea Small|
|Chang chun hua (Chin.)|
Other vernacular names
|CHINESE: Yan lai hong, Ri ri cao, Ri ri xin, San wan hua|
|FRENCH: Kihapai, Prevenche de Madagascar.|
|HAWAIIAN: Pervenche de Madagascar, pervenche du pays|
|MALAYSIA: Kemunting cina.|
|SPANISH: Chatas, chavelas, chula.lai hong, pervinca de Madagascar|
|TONGAN: Siale, siale vao.|
|San Pedro (Span.)|
|Madagascar periwinkle (Engl.)|
|Pink periwinkle (Engl.)|
|Zhang chun hua (Chin.)|
Tsitsirika is an erect, smooth or slightly hairy, simple or slightly branched plant, 30 to 50 centimeters high. Stems are somewhat woody. Leaves are oblong, 4 to 7 centimeters long, rounded at tip, pointed at base. Flowers are white, pink, or red, or variegated white and red, 3.5 cm to 5 centimeters across, borne in the axils of the leaves. Calyx-lobes are green and very slender. about 4 millimeters long. Corolla-tube is slender, 2.5 to 3 centimeters long, and pale green; the limb is spreading with obliquely obovate lobes 1.7 to 2.5 centimeters wide. Fruit is a hairy and cylindric follicle, 2 to 3 centimeters long.
– Introduced as an ornamental.
– A native of tropical America.
– Flowers all year-round.
– Established in many parts of the Philippines and is often very abundant along sandy seashores.
– Now pantropic.
– Leaves yield a volatile oil containing aldehyde, sesquiterpenes, furfural, sulphur-containing compounds, lochnerol, vincamine, vinpocetin (ethyl aponvincminate), vincarosin.
– Plant yields an amorphous alkaloid, vincarosin.
– Compounds identified: Alkaloids (vincristine, vinblastine, ibogaine, yohimbine, raubasine), flavonoids (hirsutidin).
– Plant yields more than 100 monoterpenoid indole alkaloids.
– Leaves and stems yield dimeric alkaloids vincristine and vinblastine.
– Roots yield ajmalicine and serpentine.
– Leaves are vomitive.
– Leaf alkaloids considered anti-cancer.
– Roots are purgative, vermifuge, depurative, hemostatic.
– Considered antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
Leaves, whole plant.
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1) The juice of fresh leaves of Catharanthus roseus Linn. reduces blood glucose in normal and alloxan diabetic rabbits / Srinivas Nammi et al / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2003; 3: 4. / doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-3-4.
(2) Catharanthus roseus (Apocynaceae) / National Tropical Botanical Garden
(3) ANTIDIABETIC EFFECTS OF CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS, AZADIRACHTA INDICA, ALLIUM SATIVUM AND GLIMEPRIDE IN EXPERIMENTALLY DIABETIC INDUCED RAT / Bangl. J. Vet. Med. (2007). 5 (1 & 2): 99–102 /
(4) Catharanthus roseus flower extract has wound-healing activity in Sprague Dawley rats./ BS Nayak* and Lexley M Pinto Pereira / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:41 / doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-41
(5) Triadimefon induced changes in the antioxidant metabolism and ajmalicine production in Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. / C Abdul Jaleel et al / Plant Science• Volume 171, Issue 2, August 2006, Pages 271-276 / doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2006.03.018
(6) Transcriptome analysis in Catharanthus roseus leaves and roots for comparative terpenoid indole alkaloid profiles / Ashutosh K Shukla et al / Journal of Experimental Botany 2006 57(14):3921-3932; / doi:10.1093/jxb/erl146
(7) New Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Potential of Catharanthus roseus / Federico Ferreres et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (21), pp 9967–9974 / DOI: 10.1021/jf8022723
(8) Catharanthus roseus: common name / PIER
(9) Antimicrobial Activity of Catharanthus roseus – A Detailed Study / Prajakta J. Patil and Jai S. Ghosh / British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 1(1): 40-44, 2010
(10) Advances in the study of vincristine: an anticancer ingredient from Catharanthus roseus / Lu Y, Hou SX, Chen T. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2003 Nov;28(11):1006-9.
(11) Impact of cadmium and lead on Catharanthus roseus–a phytoremediation study. / Pandey S, Gupta K, Mukherjee AK. /J Environ Biol. 2007 Jul;28(3):655-62.
(12) Sub-acute oral toxicity study of methanol leaves extract of Catharanthus roseus in rats / LYW Kevin1, AH Hussin2, I Zhari2, JH Chin* / Journal of Acute Disease (2012)38-41 / doi: 10.1016/S2221-6189(13)60052-9
(13) STUDY OF ANTI HYPERGLYCEMIC EFFECT OF CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS IN ALLOXAN INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / M. JAYANTHI, N. SOWBALA, G. RAJALAKSHMI, U. KANAGAVALLI AND V. SIVAKUMAR * / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
(14) Vinpocetine from Periwinkle Plant (Catharanthus roseus) and its Effect on Spatial Learning of Ratsmore / Mark Allan Mananggit et al / Central Luzon State University College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Jan 2010
(15) Preventive effect of Catharanthus roseus (Linn.) against high-fructose diet-induced insulin resistance and oxida-tive stress in male Wistar rats / Karuna Rasineni, Saralakumari Desireddy / Journal of Diabetes Mellitus,Vol.1 No.3, August 2011 / DOI: 10.4236/ jdm.2011.13010
(16) Anticancer and free radical scavenging potency of Catharanthus roseus, Dendrophthoe petandra, Piper betle and Curcuma mangga extracts in breast cancer cell lines / Wahyu Widowati, Tjandrawati Mozef, Chandra Risdian, Yellianty Yellianty / Oxid Antioxid Med Sci. 2013; 2(2): 137-142doi: 10.5455/oams.100413.or.038
(17) Hypoglycemic Activity of Aqueous Extracts from Catharanthus roseus / Elisa Vega-Ávila, José Luis Cano-Velasco, Francisco J. Alarcón-Aguilar, María del Carmen Fajardo Ortíz, Julio César Almanza-Pérez, and Rubén Román-Ramos / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) /
(18) EVALUATION OF HYPOLIPIDEMIC ACTIVITY OF LEAF JUICE OF CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS (LINN.) G. DONN. IN GUINEA PIGS / YOGESH PATEL, VISHALKUMAR VADGAMA, SEEMA BAXI and CHANDRABHANU. B. TRIPATHI* / Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica ñ Drug Research, Vol. 68 No. 6, pp. 927-935, 2011
(19) Effect of Aqueous Flower Extract of Catharanthus roseus on Alloxan Induced Diabetes in Male Albino Rats / A. Natarajan, K. Syed Zameer Ahmed, S. Sundaresan, A. Sivaraj, K. Devi, B. Senthil Kumar* / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2012; 4(2): 150-153
– In the Philippines, decoction of leaves used in diabetes.
– Decoction of young leaves used for stomach cramps.
– Root decoction for intestinal parasitism; as emmenagogue; may produce abortion.
– Infusion of leaves used for treating menorrhagia.
– Crude leaf extract has anticancer activity.
– Recent use of roots for anticancer applications.
– Roots used for dysentery.
– In Madagascar, the bitter and astringent leaves used as vomitive; roots used as purgative, vermifuge, depurative, hemostatic and toothache remedy.
– In Orissa, juice of leaves used as application to wasp stings.
– In Mauritius, infusion of leaves used for indigestion and dyspepsia.
– In Ayurveda, used for diabetes.
– In India, juice of leaves used for bee stings.
– In India, West Indies, and Nigeria used for diabetes.
– In Cuba and Jamaica, flower extract used for eyewash in infants.
– In the Bahamas, flower decoction used for asthma.
– In Bermuda, used for high blood pressure.
– In Malaysia, plant decoction used for diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, and cancer.
– In Indo-China, used for dysmenorrhea.
• Hypoglycemic: Study on the leaf juice of C roseus showed a dose-dependent lowering of blood glucose in both normal and diabetic rabbits comparable to the standard drug, glibenclamide. The mechanism of action was probably through enhanced secretion of insulin from the ß-cells.
• Antidiabetic: Study of C roseus, A indica and A sativum showed significant antidiabetic activity for all three medicinal plants supporting its Ayurvedic use for diabetes.
• Anti-Cancer: The anti-cancer drugs, vincristine and vinblastine, are derived from the alkaloids of periwinkle. The alkaloid has growth inhibition effects to some human tumors. Vinblastine is used experimentally for treatment of neoplasms and is recommended for Hodgkin’s disease and choriocarcinoma. Vincristine, another alkaloid, is used for leukemia in children. Vinblastin is sold as Velban; vincristine, as Oncovin. source
• Anti-Bacterial: Crude extracts from different parts of C roseus was tested for antibacterial activity. Extracts from the leaves showed significantly higher efficacy. Study suggests that bioactive compounds of CR can be a potentially exploited as antibacterial agents.
• Anti-Bacterial: Study showed pattern of inhibition depends on extraction procedure, part of plant used, state of plant, solvent used, and microorganism tested. The ethanolic extract was most active against almost all bacterial organisms tested. Gram positive bacteria were found more sensitive than gram-negative ones.
• Cytochrome P450 Inhibition: Study isolated two triterpenes and three alkaloids. Two alkaloids, ajmalicine and serpentine showed very potent inhibitory activity against CYP2D6.
• Wound Healing / Flowers: Study showed increased wound contraction and tensile strength, increased hydroxyproline content and supports the topical use of CR in wound healing.
• Triadimefon / Antioxidant / Ajmalicine: The effects of triadmefon, a triazole compound on the antioxidant potentials and root alkaloid ajmalicine content were studies in two varieties of C roseus, rosea and alba. Triadimefon treatment increased the antioxidant potentials and the indole alkaloid ajmalicine (more in the rosea variety than the alba variety) content. Results suggest triadimefon may be a useful tool for increasing alkaloid production in medicinal plants.
• Transcriptone: C roseus is known to produce a distinct spectrum of terpenoid indole alkaloids. A growth-related decrease in shoot/leaf dat and sgd transcript levels were paralleled by a decrease in shoot/leaf vindoline content.
• Polyphenolics / Antioxidants: Study of non-colored phenolics in C roseus characterized three caffeoylquinic acids and 15 flavonol glycosides. The scavenging ability of different plant matrices was assessed and a concentration-dependent protective effect was observed for seeds and tissues, with petals found to be most active.
• Hypotensive / Hypolipidemic: C roseus leaves extract made significant changes in each cardiovascular parameter after investigation with hypotensive and hypolipidemic effects in leaves extract treated animals.
• Anthelmintic: Study of leaves extract of Cr showed potent anthelmintic activity in experimental adult earthworm Pheritima posthuma. There was concentration dependent paralysis and decrease in death time. In the study, the control drug Piperazine citrate showed more potent anthelmintic activity compared to the methanol aqueous, ethanol and ethylacetate extract.
• Antidiabetic / Increased Enzymic Activity: Study of a dichlormethane:methanol extract of leaves and twigs in a STZ-induced diabetic rat model exhibited hypoglycemic activity. Decreased enzymic activities in liver of diabetic animals were significantly improved after extract treatment. Increased levels of lipid peroxidation indicative of oxidative stress were also normalized by extract treatment.
• Antimicrobial: Study of extracts of leaves showed it can be used as a prophylactic agent in regions with endemic disease but no in pandemic scale. Leaf yielded indole alkaloids and some phenolic compounds.
• Vincristine / Anticancer Ingredient: Vincristine is a dimer-indo-akaloid from the leaves of C. roseus, used in the treatment of acute lymphocytic cell leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin disease. Side effects limits its clinical use. Study summarizes its properties, advances in decreasing side effects, and new phamaceutical approaches.
• Phytoremediation / Cadmium: Study exposed exposed C. roseus to different concentration of heavy metals to observe bioaccumulation efficiency. Total alkaloid was found decreased in the roots of CdCl2 treated plants. Analyses of leaves of treated plant showed 5-10% accumulation of cadmium, but no accumulation of lead at all.
• Toxicity Study:Study evaluated the sub-acute oral toxic effects of methanol leaves extract of C. roseus on liver and kidney functions in Sprague Dawley rats. Fourteen days of oral administration of 0.1 g/kbw was shown to be safe in female SD rats without any significant damages to the liver and kidney.
• Antihyperglycemic: Study of a plant leaf dichlormethane methanol extract was found to exhibit significant antihyperglycemic effect in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
• Vinpocetine / Spatial Learning Effect: Vinpocetin from the periwinkle plant has been shown to increase cerebral blood flow, enhancing the flow of nutrients, oxygen, glucose, and neurotransmitter substrates. Study showed the plant decoction can affect spatial learning of rats in escape latencies. (
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of methanolic leaf extracts of Catharanthus roseus. Results showed increased activity of SOD and POX antioxidant activities. (22)
• Prevention and Management of Insulin Resistance and Oxidative Stress: Study evaluated the preventive role of C. roseus leaf powder in alleviating high-fructose diet-induced insulin resistance and oxidative stress in adult Wistar rats and suggests a potential use as adjuvant for the prevention and/or management of insulin resistance and related disorders.
• Anticancer / Free Radical Scavenging: Study investigated the anticancer and antioxidant activity of C. roseus, Dendrophtoe petandra, Piper betle and Curcuma mangga aqueous extracts in T47D human ductal breast epithelial tumor cell line. Apoptotic analysis showed C. roseus induced apoptosis for 37.67%, compared to doxorubicin for 36.06. Its DPPH radical scavenging activity was 71.87%.
• Hypoglycemic: Study investigated the hypoglycemic activity of extracts from flower, leaf, stem, and root in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The aqueous extracts and its alkaloid-free fraction significantly reduced blood glucose in diabetic mice, with a hypoglycemic activity comparable to tolbutamide.
• Hypolipidemic / Anti-Atheroscletic Activity / Leaf Juice: Study investigated the hypolipidemic activity of leaf juice of Catharathus roseus in guinea pigs. Results showed significant anti-atherosclerotic activity suggested by reduction in serum lipids and histological findings in the aorta, liver, and kidney. The result was attributed, possibly, to the antioxidant effect of flavonoid, and probably, vinpocetine-like compound in the leaf juice.
• Cytotoxicity to Leukemic T-Cells: Study of a crude aqueous extract of C. roseus showed a differential effect on the inhibition of proliferation of Jurkat leukemic T-cells and promoting normal peripheral blood immune cells proliferation.
• Antidiabetic / Flower Extract: Study evaluated an aqueous flower extract for antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic potential on alloxan induced diabetes in male albino rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose, reduction in lipid profile, and histological observation of reduced pancreatic fatty changes and inflammatory cell infiltrates.
• Vincamine and Vindoline / Anti-Ulcer: Study evaluated the antiulcer activity of total extract and fractions of C. roseus. A chloroform extract fractionation and its compounds, vincamine and vindoline, significantly showed protection in the Cold Restraint Ulcer model, confirming its anti-ulcer activity. The effect could be due to its anti-secretory activity.
Cultivated ornamental plant.