The periwinkle is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the family Apocynaceae, which includes more than thousand herbaceous plants, shrubs or trees, which are distributed primarily by hot countries. It is an herb with trailing stems arising from the ascending shoots. The leaves are opposite, ovate to elliptic between and a little harsh. The flowers are solitary in the axils of the leaves, are usually blue, but have found some white.
One grows in the valleys of the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian mountains in northern Portugal.
Flowers in spring, from March. Mainly interested in harvesting the leaves, although some said that flowers also have interesting active substances. In any case, the collection should be done by hand, careful not to damage the floor more than necessary, and thereafter must be dried in the shade or in dryer.
In the periwinkle found indole alkaloids such as vincamine and vincina. There are also some organic acids such as ursolic acid, caffeic acid and the hydroxybenzoic. In fact, there are few serious studies of this plant. He attributed many virtues, but none of them seems to have been scientifically proven. It appears that the alkaloids that have have some action on the sympathetic nervous system, canceling, thus lowering the pressure and increase cerebral and coronary vasodilation but also have analgesic effect. Among the popular uses that were attributed to this herb include its use in diarrhea, bloody sputum and heavy periods. It also has a virtue which concerns the lactation of women bringing who, taking this herb, this secretion can disappear almost completely. Externally also been used against sore throats, for douches and poultices to combat myocardial infarction. But all these uses are still in question. Today this plant is not granted any real virtue of it still needs careful study.
Infusion. To cut the bleeding. Prepared from a teaspoon of leaves and flowers are added to a cup of boiling water, allowed to stand three minutes and take 2 cups a day.
Decoction. Popularly used to remove the milk of nursing mothers. Boil 16 gr. Flowers and leaves in 1 liter of water, take 2 cups per day.
Tisane. Used with the same purpose as the decoction. Prepared with 25 gr. Periwinkle leaves, 5 gr. Ash and Torongil, 10 gr. Burdock, 3 gr. Mauve and 2 gr. Mint; all of this is ground in a mortar until the mixture is homogeneous and boiled in 300 gr. Water. It can take up to 2 cups of this preparation.
In the pharmaceutical market can find the herb extract (fluid and dry) and the dye. There is also a compound presentation.
HABITAT: Valleys of the Pyrenees
PART USED: Sheets
CASTILIAN: Brusela, hierba doncella
CATALAN: Pervinca, herba donzella
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