Madagascar Periwinkle

(Catharanthus Roseus)

Some people apply Madagascar periwinkle directly to the skin to stop bleeding; relieve insect bites, wasp stings, and eye irritation; and treat infections and swelling. Researchers investigating its medicinal properties discovered that it contained a group of alkaloids that, though extremely toxic, had potential uses in cancer treatment. Two of these alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine, can be used in purified form to treat common types of leukemia and lymphoma. This plant is attracted to butterflies, bees, and sometimes birds.

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