Catharanthus Role in Cancer Treatment, Synonyms and Medicinal Uses
Biological Name : Catharanthus roseus
Family : Apocyanaceae
Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle), Nayantara in Bengali, is common flower in India. Photographed at Kolkata. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Synonyms of Catharanthus:
- Hindi – Sadabahar
- Oriya – Ainskati
- Bengali – Nayantara
- Malayalam – Ushamalari
- Marathi – Sada-phul
- Tamil – Sudukadu mallikal
- Telugu – Billaganneru
Catharanthus is an erect herb with a height of one metre. Flowers are white or purple-red in colour. It is grown throughout the India and is mainly cultivated in gardens. The useful parts of the plant are roots and leaves.
Properties of Catharanthus:
Phytochemicals in Catharanthus:
The phytochemicals which are present in the catharanthus are alkaloids like vincristine and vinblstine.
Forms of use: It is used in the form of decoction from root and leaves and as powder.
- The violet flowers of the plant contains alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine which are powerful anti-cancerous agents.
- Vincristine and vinblastine are powerful cytotoxic agents and they arrest the rapidly dividing cells in cancer.
- These are useful in the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s syndrome, lymphomas, leukaemia, breast cancer and other related problems.
Other Medicinal Uses of Catharanthus:
- The drug is used as a hypoglycemic agent in diabetes.
- Catharanthus acts as a sedative.
- Catharanthus is used for treating stomachache.