According to healthline - In addition to its beautiful form and widely planted as an ornamental plant, the benefits of tapak dara flowers turn out to be an efficacious medicinal plant. This plant actually consists of various types, and only some of them can be used for treatment.
One of the most recognised types of periwinkle flower for medicine is Catharanthus roseus. This living apothecary plant has flexible stems, oval-shaped leaves, and the flowers are usually light purple in colour. As a shrub, tapak dara grows in clusters with a maximum height of 1 metre.
The content of tapak dara flower
This simple-looking flower contains flavonoids and alkaloid compounds that are anticancer. This alkaloid compound is what produces two powerful drugs that cure cancer.
The two drugs are vinblastine, a lymph node cancer drug and vincristine, a chemotherapy drug. Vincristine works by stopping the proliferation of cancer cells when they are about to multiply by splitting into two.
Benefits of periwinkle flower for medicine
Periwinkle flowers are usually used as a topical medicine. The boiled water is also used to relieve swollen eyes, reduce sugar levels in diabetics, bleeding, insect bites, and cancer.
It turns out that not only the flowers are taken for medicine. In its place of origin, Madagascar, the benefits of crushed tapak dara leaves are used to stop bleeding in wounds and treat toothache. Meanwhile in the Philippines, the boiled water of the leaves is used for the treatment of diabetes, stomach cramps and intestinal parasites. The roots are also used to treat diarrhoea.
The health benefits of tapak dara leaves are that it can treat various diseases, such as:
1. Overcoming thrush
The tannin content in tapak dara flowers can help relieve pain and swelling caused by canker sores. Thrush generally occurs due to wounds or unhygienic mouth areas.
2. Treat diarrhoea
In Europe, herbalists use this plant to treat abnormal discharge, such as diarrhoea or bleeding gums. Experts have been using periwinkle for headaches, vertigo, and poor memory since medieval times.
3. Prevents high blood pressure and diabetes
The periwinkle flower has alkaloids that are made into extracts from its leaves. The ingredients found in the flower are known to reduce high blood pressure.
While the content of vindoline and vindolicine compounds in it can reduce blood sugar levels, thus preventing the risk of diabetes.
4. Prevents high cholesterol
Frequent consumption of unhealthy foods can cause high cholesterol. Flavonoids and vinpocetine contained in tapak dara leaf extract are known to balance cholesterol in the body by lowering total cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and lowering bad cholesterol.
A normal cholesterol condition can reduce the risk of developing diseases, such as stroke, heart attack, and chronic kidney disease.
5. Accelerates wound healing
When you have wounds on your skin, especially open external wounds, you can use tapak dara flowers to provide relief. Ethanol extract from periwinkle flowers is known to accelerate wound healing.
6. Cancer treatment
The periwinkle plant has been known in traditional medicine to treat various diseases. Ayurveda or Health Science from India has also recognised the use of this tiny flowering plant as an antitumour, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antimutagenic, or preventing the spread of cancer-causing genes.
Vinblastine, which is commonly used for the treatment of various cancers such as Hodgkin's disease, breast cancer, skin cancer, and lymphoblastic leukaemia, is naturally extracted from the pink periwinkle plant.
According to research, it is the second most widely used cancer drug, but it must still be accompanied by other medical therapies and treatments.
7. Prevents oxidative damage
Another benefit of tapak dara flower is that it can prevent oxidative damage due to excess free radicals, as it contains flavonoids. This type of antioxidant can reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.
Side effects of treatment with periwinkle flower
It is not recommended to consume periwinkle flowers directly. Moreover, do not swallow the flowers or any other part of the periwinkle plant. This is because there is a risk of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort and intestinal distress.
In more severe cases, consuming periwinkle flowers can cause liver and kidney damage. You should also not consume periwinkle if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This plant can also cause blood pressure to drop drastically. If you have a low blood pressure condition, then do not consume tapak dara. The same applies when you are about to undergo surgery. Consumption of drugs that contain parts or extracts of periwinkle flowers should be stopped, under these conditions.
A series of information about the benefits and properties of tapak dara flowers have been widely spread on the internet. However, you should be careful in sorting out the information. Remember, the efficacy of a traditional medicine can be different for each person.
In fact, the benefits of periwinkle flowers are still unknown.
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