Health Benefits of Sadabahar, Madagascar Periwinkle, or Catharanthus Roseus

Updated on September 18, 2020
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Sadabahar, Madagascar Periwinkle, or Catharanthus roseus

Sadabahar, Madagascar periwinkle, or Catharanthus roseus (formerly known as Vinca rosea) is an evergreen shrub that is commonly grown worldwide both as an ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. It is a commonly grown plant in India and is native to Madagascar. The Catharanthus roseus plant grows to about three feet in height; has smooth, glossy, dark green leaves; and flowers throughout the year.

There are two varieties that are grown for their medicinal value—the pink-colored and white-colored flower varieties. The medicinal variety has white flowers, and the pink flowers have a dark pink eye in the center. Ornamental varieties have been developed whose flowers are more colorful.

Latin names: Catharanthus roseus, formerly Vinca rosea or Lochnera rosea.

Indian names: Sadabahar, Sadapushpi, Sadaphuli, Baramasi, etc.

Common names: Periwinkle, vinca, rosy periwinkle, Madagascar periwinkle, Cape periwinkle, old maid, etc.

Pink-colored flower variety of vinca rosea
Pink-colored flower variety of vinca rosea | Source

Safety Precautions

Please consult with a medical professional before using Catharanthus roseus. Due to the presence of vinca alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus, it is unsafe to consume orally, and if taken in large quantities, can be deadly.

Madagascar periwinkle can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, seizures, and liver damage, among other side effects, when consumed orally. If you are taking lithium or medication for diabetes, there may be interactions with Madagascar periwinkle.

Health Benefits

Catharanthus roseus contains two classes of active compounds, the alkaloids and the tannins. More than 100 alkaloids have been found in this plant, and vincristine and vinblastine are most notable for their medicinal benefits.

Sadabahar, or the Catharanthus roseus plant, has been used both in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The leaves, flowers, and roots are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Chinese medicine uses the extracts of the plant to treat conditions such as diabetes, malaria, leukemia, and Hodgkin's disease.

In traditional medicine, the leaf juice has been used to treat wasp stings; a gargle is used for sore throats, and flower extracts are used for infants' eyewash. Periwinkle tea is used to treat diabetes and cough.

For wasp bites, apply the juice of the leaves at the spot. It helps to neutralize the poison, prevents swelling, and relieves pain.

Some of the health benefits of Sadabahar, periwinkle, or the Catharanthus roseus plant are:

  • The leaves and stems are a source of alkaloids that have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
  • The leaves are used in folk medicine to control diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • The alkaloids may also offer sedative and tranquilizing properties.
  • It can relieve muscle pain and depression.
  • Because of its properties of detoxification and counteracting poison, it is used to relieve wasp stings.
  • Sadabahar can help to control nosebleeds, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and sore throats.
  • The Catharanthus roseus plant has been thought to increase brain health. Its active ingredients are thought to improve blood supply to the brain, increasing the level of oxygen that the brain can utilize. It is also thought to raise serotonin levels and prevent abnormal coagulation of blood.
  • The alkaloid vincamine is thought to have memory-enhancing properties, and it is found in medications in Europe that treat primary degenerative and vascular dementia.

Note: The health benefits of this plant are a result of proper cultivation and extraction. The plant itself is toxic and can be deadly if consumed in large quantities.

White-colored flower variety of Catharanthus roseus
White-colored flower variety of Catharanthus roseus | Source

Varieties of Sadabahar, Periwinkle, or Catharanthus Roseus Plant

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • profile image

      Pushpa Verma-Jacksonville, Fl USA 

      15 months ago

      I have been exposed on u tube about this plants benefits on health issue like diabetic.,but I am not a diabetic. I have acidic body type and always issue with over acid in my body..

      Recently, my leg started having burning sensation.I have been looking for this plant for about an year. Finally , I found this plant in Home-depot.

      I bought Sadabahar and planted in my back yard. I forgot about the plant medicinal use. The plant has been blooming beautiful pink flowers. My ears and head were having mild pain and headache. Non of the medicine were working . Slowly felt like my whole body is out of control. No peace in the body.

      I thought let me eat this Sadabahar flowers and leaves. I picked up 4 flowers and 4 leaves washed it and put it in my mouth and chew it up.

      Miracle happened. Instant, my ear pain was gone, headache was gone. My whole body became normal.Wow what a miracle plant for me.

      Like nothing has been happens. I was so relieves that I can live additional 15 to 20 year disease free.

      Reading this artical ,I realized this is the plant I have been looking for

      years to over come my acidity problem. This plant is highly Alkaline, since I am acidic , perfect for me.

      This plant has 2 test , kdwa and kasaw. (means bitter comes from only karela, and kasaw comes from , Amla, hareda, Jamun) People are missing in their diet. Every meal required - khattta, mitha, tita, kdwa, & kasaw, and salt . Ram Dev baba said to diabetic people eat kareal and Diabetic will go away. This plant has both Kadwa & Kasaw.

      Easy to grow and have available at your home no cost to be healthy.

      Thanks -Pushpa Verma , Jacksonville, Fl USA

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      17 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Echs, the leaves are bitter.

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      Can the leaf be taken raw every morning?

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      24 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      I have your mom in my prayers Ghazala. I pray she gets healed.

    • profile image

      Ghazala Firdaus 

      24 months ago

      Thanks so lots for giving me this important information my mom is suffering from liver cancer and leukemia i will try it for such complications she have suffered may God help her to heal all the problems

    • profile image

      Joe Jayasinghe 

      2 years ago

      Some Ayurvedic Physicians prescribe to drink tea made out of 6 dried periwincle flowers of pink variety white center to arrest cancer, regularly for about 3 months.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Nice and very informative

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Glad you like the information. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very valuable information. Thsee such plants certainly keep us healthy and we can also recommend to the needy

    • profile image

      Mansi Padyal 

      2 years ago

      What is its medicinal uses?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very valuable information.with this we can live healthy with out spend money.

    • profile image

      Bakul shah 

      2 years ago


      I have diabetic type 2

      from last 2-3 months I have problem in my both leg burning sensation & like anesthetic .

      My age is 57 running (male) can u suggest any medicine.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      plz tell me How many analysis projects are done on vinca plant

    • profile image


      3 years ago


    • profile image

      sakander zia 

      3 years ago

      what is the stem diameter of vinca..?

    • profile image

      Zeba khan 

      5 years ago

      Can Sadabahar leaves helps in obesity ?

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Good and very useful information. Kindly elaborate on toxicity.

      Some article states as follows:

      It can be dangerous if consumed orally. It can be extremely toxic, and is cited (under its synonym Vinca rosea) in Louisiana State Act 159.

    • profile image

      sachin mayani 

      5 years ago

      Now I know my varanda flowered it say something but I not understand yet thanks to this sight I have knowledge of diabetic remover plant.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      You are right r.kalyanamoorthy this is a small effort at spreading its health benefits.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      very nice..and quite informative...this plant vinca rosea both rose and white variety are available in plenty in Tamilnadu..but the usage and utility value is not much known and has got to be read and spread..people that too poor famers can grow in their small bits of land they possess and get benefit by selling them..rk aACF TBGP,Chennai.

    • profile image

      Mahendra Patel 

      6 years ago

      fantastic information as it can be use for diabetes. Thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's so nice .I love it

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      If you know really this flower work in leukemia pleases send me email

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for reading, condiminium.

    • condominium profile image

      Jeffrey Dela Costa 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      I think we have these flowers in my country as well. I should check it out. Many thanks

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for reading Thelma and I'm glad you gleaned useful information from this write up. Appreciate the vote and sharing.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      7 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      I have not heard about this plant and its health benefits although I have seen this plant in my garden in the Phil. Now I know the name of this beautiful flower. Thanks for the very useful information Rajan. Voted up, shared and pinned to my beautiful flower board for later use. I wonder if the old relatives of mine know the health benefits of this plant.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for visiting Diksha.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for reading and commenting aud99. Sadabahar is used for health purposes in India at least.

    • aud99 profile image


      7 years ago

      I didn't know this plant can be used as natural remedies for quite a few things. I won't be surprised if the Chinese also use it for health purposes together with other herbs then.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks, Jo and your visit and comments are much appreciated.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      7 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Rajan, another informative hub... mother nature is amazing. I've always loved Periwinkles but I never thought about it's health benefits.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for reading, Kathryn. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      7 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      I have heard of Periwinkle plants, and I hear the name used as a color quite often. They're pretty!

      It seems like there are so many plants that have useful benefits! It is so interesting to learn about another plant I didn't know much about. Thanks for sharing this with us, Rajan.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @Peggy-you mom was so very right! It is only a matter of discovering them. Thanks for the read and the sharing.

      @Rasma-thanks for visiting and sharing it.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub. Didn't know these flowers had health benefits we have them here. Passing this on.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      My mother when she was alive always said that for every disease there is undoubtedly a cure on this earth. It is simply discovering them and so many of them come from plants. I have grown periwinkles in the past but did not know of their many medicinal uses. Up, useful and interesting votes and sharing and pinning.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @moonlake-that's good to know! Thanks for the visit and sharing.

      @Bill-plants have been providing us with medicines through ages. It's just that we have forgotten the wisdom that the sages handed down to us. I much appreciate your visit and sharing.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Rajan. You continue to amaze me with the plants that you come up with. And they always have such great health benefits. You really are providing us with nature's pharmacy. Great job rajan. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc...

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      I did know all the health benefits of vinca. I voted up, 5 stars and shared.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @Carol-thanks for appreciating and supporting.

      @Margaret-I so agree with you; nature's bounties are endless. Appreciate your visit and comments.

      @Bill-thanks for reading. I'm glad you appreciate this info. Thank you.

      @Eddy-always good to see you. Been missing your smiling presence. Thanks.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      How nice to be back reading your wonderful hubs again rajan.Here's to so many more to come.

      Enjoy your weekend.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had no idea, Rajan! I just love to look at them. LOL Now I'll look at them differently for sure. Thanks for some great information.

      Have a great weekend.

      Blessings to you always


    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      7 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      I'm always amazed at how nature provides us with such a pharmacy. Voted up, useful and interesting - and sharing.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      I enjoyed reading the health benefits and the lovely photos. As always you do a great job and your hubs are stashed on my pinterest site...Thanks for sharing all this...

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Nature provides us with so many medicinall plants.Thanks for stopping by, Devika.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible Plant and such helpful information, you have great ideas and always so interesting thanks


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