Periwinkle: This simple little plant is the source of most common chemo drugs used in the treatment of cancer. The properties which linked Periwinkle to the treatment of cancer were discovered inadvertently by a major pharmaceutical manufacturer while looking for a drug to control blood sugar in diabetics. Common folk lore attributed such a property to Periwinkle, but painstaking research revealed that the plant had no effect on blood sugar levels. Instead, the research uncovered the antineoplastic effects of plant extracts, prominent among them, the extraordinary properties of periwinkle and components in its makeup which form the basis of our common chemotherapy drugs.
The plant components, vincristine and vinblastine, in periwinkle, were found to bind to tubulin in cellular microtubules. The short story here is that the process arrested cellular division and killed the cells.
But the embarrassing factor in this that keeps getting swept under the rug is that these drugs don't particularly discriminate between healthy cells and cancer cells. As a result, numerous healthy cells are killed in the course of chemotherapy as these drugs, in their mission of killing off cancer cells, go about causing general and widespread cell death, including the cells that comprise our immune system.o It's like using a shotgun to kill a fly on an elephant. Not good.
The logic of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer just doesn't make any sense at all. That is, as far as curing cancer is concerned. Or curing any other disease for that matter. Our immune system is designed to attack and destroy any harmful invading organisms. So where is the logic of killing the immune system in order to cure a disease?
But there is still a very solid logic to the use of chemotherapy. It is the most profitable therapy in medicine. Profitable to the pharmaceutical industry, profitable to all segments of the medical business involved in the treatment of cancer. And this seems to explain why the many extraordinary properties of periwinkle are being quietly passed over in favor of the logic of profit in chemotherapy.
The therapeutic uses of the periwinkle plant are not limited to its derivations of the chemo drugs. The plant itself was introduced in Europe during the mid 1700s, as an ornamental plant. Today it grows throughout the world, mainly in the warmer climates, and it has been widely used in tropical folk medicine. Besides being useful in the treatment of cancer, decoctions of the plant have been used for maladies ranging from ocular inflammation, diabetes, hemorrhage, and insect stings.
Research conducted by several pharmceutical companies, and later abandoned, show derivatives of periwinkle to be a high octane fuel for the brain. This is due to an almost miraculous brain booster called vinpocetine. It is so effective against fading mental processes that it is being used routinely in supplemental form by nearly 50 countries.
Vinpocetine has been shown to improve blood circulation to the brain, reducing senility and age related dementia. It has been used successfully to improve hearing function by relieving that ringing and buzzing in the ears known as tinnitus, and it has eliminated vertigo (dizziness). Vinpocetine is also used extensively in Europe for improving visual function, including night vision, and in preventing or relieving glaucoma and age related macular degeneration.
Periwinkle is also an excellent, all around astringent that may be used internally and externally. Mainly it is used in the treatment of excessive menstrual flow. And as in other remedies that can affect the uterus, it can be used to address similar processes in the urinary system. Digestive problems can also benefit from treatment with periwinkle; problems such as colitis or diarrhea where it will act to reduce the loss of fluid or blood. Nose bleed, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and sore throats, all benefit from the use of periwinkle.
There are few health hazards associated with the use of periwinkle as a therapeutic drug, although anyone wanting to avail himself of this drug would be well served to consult a homeopathic physician who understands its uses. Overdosage can result in a severe drop of blood pressure. Other than that, the side effects seem to be very minimal, being largely limited to gastrointestinal complaints and skin flushing. The drug is usually made available in the form of ampules, capsules, coated tablets, and compound preparations.
It seems totally ironic that the USFDA continues to "protect" us from the perceived dangers of such a beneficial plant, in spite of its internationally proven safety and effectiveness while at the same time, allowing virtually unrestricted use of the same plant's well known most toxic elements.