Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Common Periwinkle, Earlyflowering, Evergreen, Herbe à la Capucine, Herbe de Fidélité, Lesser Periwinkle, Myrtle, Petite Pervenche, Pervenche Mineure, Small Periwinkle, Vinca minor, Vincae Minoris Herba, Vincapervinca, Violette des Morts, Violette de Serpent, Violette de Sorcier, Wintergreen.


Periwinkle is an herb. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Don't confuse periwinkle with Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).

Despite serious safety concerns, periwinkle is used for “brain health” (increasing blood circulation in the brain, supporting brain metabolism, increasing mental productivity, preventing memory and concentration problems and feebleness, improving memory and thinking ability, and preventing early aging of brain cells).

Periwinkle is also used for treating diarrhea, vaginal discharge, throat ailments, tonsillitis, chest pain, high blood pressure, sore throat, intestinal pain and swelling (inflammation), toothache, and water retention (edema). It is also used for promoting wound healing, improving the way the immune system defends the body, and for “blood-purification.”

A chemical in periwinkle called vincamine can be converted in the laboratory to the compound vinpocetine, which is marketed as a dietary supplement.

How does work?

Periwinkle can lower blood pressure. It can also help reduce swelling (inflammation) and have a drying (astringent) effect on the tissues.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer


Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of periwinkle for these uses.

Side Effects

Periwinkle is UNSAFE. It can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and other stomach and intestinal symptoms. It can also cause nerve, kidney, and liver damage. Large amounts can cause very low blood pressure.


Periwinkle is UNSAFE for anyone to use, but people with certain conditions are especially at risk for harmful side effects.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Periwinkle is UNSAFE. Don't use it.

Constipation: Periwinkle has a drying effect on tissues. This means it can make constipation worse. Don't use it.

Low blood pressure: Periwinkle can lower blood pressure. If you already have low blood pressure, using periwinkle can make it drop too low. Don't use it.

Surgery: Periwinkle can lower blood pressure. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using periwinkle at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Periwinkle seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking periwinkle along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.


The appropriate dose of periwinkle depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for periwinkle. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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