Periwinkle Summary

Periwinkle contains an alkaloid known as vincamide, which has a number of actions within the body. It's hypotensive, negatively chronotropic (lowers heart rate), spasmolytic, and hypoglycemic. It's a common addition to nootropic formulas for its ability to increase cerebral circulation, and thus improve cognitive function. More commonly, however, a synthetic version of this alkaloid known as vinpocetine is used. Both are effective at improving cerebral circulation.

Periwinkle is used in its whole plant form for circulatory conditions, cognitive decline, to support brain metabolism, memory loss, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, bladder infections, gastritis, diarrhea, and to help weaning children.

It was used topically in the past to treat bruises, abscesses, eczema, and to stop bleeding. 

Herbal Actions:

  • Astringent
  • Nootropic
  • Vasodilator

Botanical Name:

Vinca minor/major





Part used:

Whole plant


Vinca major monograph periwinkle

This monograph is still under construction. Send us a message if you would like us to move this one up the to-do list. 


Tincture 1:5) (60% Alc):

1-2 ml 3 times/day [1]

Infusion (1:20):

250 ml 3 times/day 



  • Excessive menstrual flow
    • both menorrhagia and metorrhagia
  • Blood in the urine
  • Digestive complaints
    • Colitis
    • Diarrhea
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sore throat
  • To improve blood flow to the brain
  • In nootropic formulas


  • Inflammation

Traditional Uses:

Still compiling data.


    Botanical Description:

    Still compiling data.


    Habitat Ecology, and Distribution:

    Still compiling research. 


    Harvesting Collection, and Preparation:

    Still compiling research. 


    Indole alkaloids, tannins [1]. 

    Pharmacology and Medical Research:

    Still compiling research. 


    Toxicity and Contraindications:

    No drug interactions of side effects noted of the whole plant [1].



    None reported. 


    Traditional Chinese Medicine:

    Still compiling research. 



    Still compiling research. 


    Recent Blog Posts:


    1. Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. (Pg. 594).
    Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary