Scientific name: Catharanthus roseus. Name in different languages: English: periwinkle, rosy periwinkle, Madagascar periwinkle, chatas, Chula. French: Catharanthe rose. German: Rosafarbene Catharanthe, Rosafarbenes Zimmerimmergrün, Madagaskar-Immergrün. Swedish: rosensköna. Hindi: सदाफूली Sadaphuli, सदाबहार Sadabahar, सदासुहागी Sadasuhagi. Bengali: নযনতারা Nayantara. Marathi: सदाफुली Sadaphul. Tamil: Nithyakalyaani. Malayalam: Shavam Naari.
Cancer, diabetes and hypertension are the major threats to humans in today’s world. A good cure to these diseases is the plant Catharanthus roseus. Also known as Rosy periwinkle or vinca, this plant belongs to the Apocyanaceae family. Catharanthus has two varieties: ‘Vincarosea’ which has pink flowers and ‘Vinca alba’ which has white flowers. Catharanthus is a plant that grows wildly and attains a height of just half a meter. The leaves of catharanthus is a good cure against poison from animal bites. The juice extract from the leaves is a good medicine for diabetes. The chemicals vincristine and vinblastine extracted from catharanthus is found to be very effective in cancer treatment.
The mature seeds are separated from the fruits. The seeds are cylindrical in shape. The seeds are germinated by sowing in ridges made high from the ground level and the saplings are replanted when they attain 6 leaf growth. While planting saplings , ridges are made 30 cm from ground level and powderd cow dung is added as manure. Two saplings can be planted together. Every month powderd cow dung and ash can be mixed and added as manure. The roots and leaves are used for medicinal purpose, which are collected from the mature plants.