Periwinkle Herbal


Vinca minor

PART USED: Leaf and Seed

PROPERTIES: Antibacterial, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Hemostatic, Diuretic, Emetic, Sedative, Tonic, Astringent

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Digestive, Cardiovascular, Nerves, Brain

POSSIBLE USES: diarrhea, hypertension, memory, concentration, delayed menstruation


Periwinkle has an effect on the blood and like nearly all herbals can benefit both sides of a situation—it can slow or stop bleeding on the one hand or increase the circulation to the brain on the other hand. Periwinkle is an excellent herb in nervous disorders, and as a muscle relaxant can help with things from muscle cramps to headache.

Periwinkle is not a common herb but I have found that it adds some important pieces to the IBL recipe. Periwinkle seems to bring better circulation to the brain, enhancing memory and the ability to concentrate, especially in the elderly.

From time to time bad press about Periwinkle emerges claiming that it poses a danger to those who are taking blood thinner medications. While it is true that an isolated extract of an active constituent, vincamine, and the chemical drug made from it, vinpocetine, can pose those risks, Periwinkle in the whole herb form does not pose such a danger. This scenario is actually quite common with other drugs as well.

Periwinkle seems to require only small doses to be effective. I have wondered if taking too much was the precursor to a headache in myself back in the days when migraines were common for me. I have not noticed that result for many years, and it may not have been the cause back then.

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