Scientific name: Catharanthus roseus
Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as sadabahar or Madagascar periwinkle.
, In Hindi, “sadabahar” is often referred to as “सदाबहार” or “नित्यबिल्व” (Nityabilv).
Catharanthus roseus is a perennial herbaceous plant, meaning it lives for more than two years and doesn’t develop a woody stem.
The leaves are opposite, glossy, and elliptical in shape. They typically measure 2 to 7 cm in length and have a dark green color.
The flowers of Catharanthus roseus are showy and come in a range of colors, including white, pink, and lavender. They have a five-petaled, tubular shape and are often characterized by a prominent central eye.
The plant has a fibrous root system.
The stems are green, erect, and often branching. They can reach a height of up to 1 meter.
The fruit is a pair of slender, cylindrical follicles, each containing numerous small, flat seeds.
Catharanthus roseus is native to Madagascar but is widely cultivated in various tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
A large number of chemicals have been isolated from C. rosea like Alkaloids(vincristine,vinblastine,ajmalicine), neurotransmitter (serotonin), tannins,flavonoids,terpenoids etc. which have various medicinal proeprtieproperties.
Rasa (Taste)*: Bitter, Astringent
Some of its medicinal properties and uses include:
Anticancer Properties: Sadabahar is most well-known for its alkaloids vincristine and vinblastine, which have potent anticancer properties. These compounds are used in chemotherapy to treat various forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and certain solid tumors. They work by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Hypotensive (Blood Pressure-Lowering) Properties: Some alkaloids found in sadabahar, such as ajmalicine, have been investigated for their potential to lower blood pressure. They can help dilate blood vessels and reduce hypertension.
Antidiabetic Activity: Sadabahar extracts have shown potential in reducing blood sugar levels, making them of interest in the management of diabetes. Research is ongoing in this area.
Antimicrobial Properties: Sadabahar has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties, suggesting its potential use in the treatment of infections.
Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Some studies have indicated that sadabahar extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial for conditions involving inflammation.
Antioxidant Effects: The plant contains compounds like flavonoids and tannins, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative damage and may have a role in preventing various diseases.
Wound Healing: Sadabahar extracts have been traditionally used topically for wound healing due to their potential to promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation.
Treatment of Bleeding Disorders: In traditional medicine, extracts from sadabahar have been used for their astringent properties, which can help reduce bleeding and treat conditions like nosebleeds.