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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Periwinkle or kemunting china

A simple and slightly invasive flowering plants which is a normal feature in coastal areas where I came from, goes by the many common names, Madagascar Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle, Periwinkle, Vinca, Old-Maid. and the plant goes with local names as pokok Kemunting China, pokok Rumput Jalang, pokok Kembang Sari Cina, atau pokok Ros Pantai. The scientific name is Catharanthus roseus

 We do have quite a collection of colours,
all imported from Kakdah Mom's place.

a light pink periwinkle

a white periwinkle

heavy pink periwinkle

pinkish red periwinkle
Dark green glossy leaves are adorned with flat five fused petal blooms

Chemicals in these plants have been found to contain the unique ability to keep certain kinds of cancerous cells from reproducing. For example, these chemicals have been known to have helped increase the survival rate of childhood leukaemia from a mere 10 per cent to 95 per cent!

The most important plant source ingredient in chemotherapy is alkaloids from the Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus Rosevs). Two alkaloids named vinblasfine and vincrisfine are today commonly used individually or combined with other forms of therapy for cancer treatment. 
 Periwinkle flower is used as the logo of  MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional or National Cancer Council )


bangchik 

16 comments:

  1. I did not know MAKNA exist now I know. Periwinkle is one of the flower that was growing wild when we moved to our house now.It surprise me with its hardiness surviving through winter. In addition of total neglect from me.

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  2. I do love Periwinkle and it grows here as well. I did not know about it's medical properties....very interesting.

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  3. Periwinkle varieties appear on balkonies in Hungary, and sometimes overwinter indoors. I haven't heard of its use in chemotherapy.

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  4. Have those growing and invading my garden. Will think more kindly of them now I know how useful they are in fighting cancers.

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  5. Very neat on the chemicals. I had no idea. I love the periwinkles but they don't do well in my garden. Glad they do well in yours! Have a great weekend!

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  6. I love periwinkles, I know they have the reputation of being invasive, but the shape of the flowers is so very pleasing. So interesting about the anti cancer properties. Our national cancer society has a yellow daffodil as it's symbol

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  7. Any info how to extract the anti-cancer 'vincristine' from this plant?

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  8. Thanks Bangchik. Now I see that MAKNA's logo is a periwinkle.

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  10. I have periwinkles in my garden aswell - purple ones with variegated leaves but they are quite invasive. Never knew about its great medicinal qualities before.

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  11. Bangchik, This is such a great post. I had not know this about your Periwinkle, which I believe must be different from the one that grows rampantly here too. Thank you for this education and your photos are lovely. ;>)

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  12. oic... great info Bangchik! I did not know that.... the flower of the logo.

    As a garden plant, it is a strong plant that's really productive in flourishing pretty blooms. Happy fasting and have a great weekend!

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  13. What a wonderful plant! It grows here in India as a wild plant in vacant plots. The logo honours the periwinkle.

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  14. Thanks to all, for the visits and comments.

    Sickness and medicine come in pairs, but they go separate ways. It is a jigsaw puzzle that we are playing to pair the two. Researchers have been doing that for years.

    The old medicine before pills and tablets come in a big way, had been plant based. And now the old medicine is getting in slowly but surely. Periwinkle has a reason to be so invasive, to make sure their presence are felt and not to be missed. They do exist for a reason.

    have a great weekend.... ~bangchik

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  15. I can never get enough of these beautiful flowers. I really like the delicate look and feel of the light pink. Thanks also for the info.

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  16. Poetic.. thanks, you are right about periwinkle flowers having one of the most delicate tone and colour.
    ~bangchik

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