Lesser Periwinkle - Best Herb for Skin

Lesser Periwinkle

Vinca minor Apocynaceae

A native ofáthe Mediterranean, lesser periwinkle is favored by gardeners as a groundcover plant, Its crawling stems root at intervals to produce erect flower-bearing stem, It is a perennial evergreen whose leaves are shiny, leathery and unlobed. Vinca comes from the Latin word vincio (meaning 'I bind') and alludes to the plant's long stems, which were used for tying and binding. Violet-blue, .five-petal led flowers appear in spring its fruit consists of pairs of seedpods, Which split to release their seeds.

Parts used

  • Leaves
  • Harvesting of the leaves takes place before the flowers bloom, when their alkaloid content is at its highest. The leaves are then dried in the open air.
  • Despite their bitter taste, the dried leaves are used for infusions. In powder and extract forms they are used in pharmaceutical products.


The active compounds are indole alkaloids, the most important being vincamine, which is much used by the pharmaceutical industry for its ability to stimulate blood circulation in the brain.

Medicinal uses

In the past lesser periwinkle was used as a treatment for skin ailments. However, recent research periwinkle has shown that its alkaloids, mainly vincamine, dilate blood vessels in the brain thus improving cerebral circulation. A review published in 1999 documents these vasodilator properties, as well as the plant's ability to enhance brain activity and its usefulness in treating brain disorders relating to poor blood circulation.

Lesser periwinkle is prescribed to combat the mental effects of ageing, such as loss of concentration and loss of memory. An Austrian study performed in 1996 found the plant to be more effective than a placebo in improving symptoms of dementia. The plant is also used to stop both internal and external bleeding.

Lesser periwinkle can also help to ease stomach-related problems and soothe sore throats and other types of oral inflammation.


Extracts of lesser periwinkle can only be obtained on medical herbalist prescription. Do not harvest garden plants.

Pregnant women should not use lesser


Plant in moist soil in a sunny or lightly shaded position. It is possible to grow from cuttings in summer. Once established lesser periwinkle can become invasive.


For internal use

TO TREAT effects of ageing, inadequate blood circulation CAPSULES (290mg powder) Take 1 capsule three times a day at mealtimes.

TINCTURE Take 15 drops two or three times a day.



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