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Pink catharanthus (Catharanthus roseus) is a beautiful, very ornamental plant from the kutrovy family. It originates from the rainforests of Madagascar.
It grows well with us both in the garden and indoors. It is also used as a broad-spectrum medicinal plant. In the article further you can see in the photo what this flower looks like, as well as read about its medicinal properties and methods of using it in traditional medicine.
What are the names of the flower?
The second name of this plant, common among flower growers, is pink periwinkle. Earlier it was believed that the pink catharanthus belongs to the genus Vinca, but in the middle of the twentieth century, according to a number of characteristics, it was allocated to a special genus - Catharanthus. However, it is generally accepted that this is the same herb, intended mainly for outdoor use.
There are other names for this plant.:
- cayenne jasmine;
- pink first;
All this confusion is explained by the purely external similarity of plants, since both the real periwinkle and the pink catharanthus belong to the same kutrovy family.
Where is it distributed?
Nowadays, pink catharanthus in the wild is distributed throughout the tropical climate zone. It can be found:
- in Indochina;
- in Australia;
- in Java;
- in the southern United States;
- in Central America;
- in Cuba, etc.
As a houseplant, pink catharanthus has also taken root everywhere for a long time. In Europe, it has been cultivated since the middle of the 18th century. Although in Madagascar it is a tall, up to one and a half meters, shrub, in a room pot it reaches only about half a meter.
Pink catharanthus has high intraspecific plasticity.... Nevertheless, until the 80s of the last century, breeding work with him was practically not carried out.
In 1976, a program was launched in the United States to obtain interspecific hybrids of pink catharanthus. By 1988, a series of "Cooler" varieties was received and put on the market, including Grape Cooler (lavender-pink flowers with a scarlet "eye"), Pepermint Cooler (white with a bright scarlet "eye" and Red Cooler (bright red). Find out about the 10 best varieties of catharanthus for open ground here, and about the varieties Pacifica, Sunstorm, Cora Cascade, Peach Blanche and others here.
To date, German breeders have obtained a series of varieties "First Kiss" - thirteen color options. "First Kiss" is distinguished by its compact bush (about 30-40 cm) and large flowers. In the future, an improved version of this line was brought out - "First Kiss Blueberry" with blue-violet colors.
In the USSR, work on the introduction of pink catharanthus was started in 1958. Soon, catharanthus as a medicinal raw material began to be grown in South Kazakhstan, Western Transcaucasia, and in the Kuban.
Nowadays, pink catharanthus, as an ornamental annual, is cultivated almost everywhere, including in the northern regions of Russia.
Description of appearance and photo
Pink catharanthus - small perennial dwarf shrub... The bush is up to 50-60 cm in height and up to 65-70 cm in diameter. The stems are aligned. The leaves are dark green, oblong, lanceolate, the central vein of the leaf is light. The main root is about 25-35 cm long, branched, has a specific odor.
The flowers are simple, with five petals, arranged in pairs in the leaf axils. Outwardly they look like balsam flowers - "Vanka-wet".
The color of flowers is burgundy, purple, scarlet, white, violet. There is a "peephole" in a contrasting color.
The medicinal properties of pink catharanthus are caused by the content of the strongest alkaloids in it - vinblastine and vincristine.
These alkaloids are cytostatics - substances that disrupt the process of cell division... During the normal course of mitosis in a dividing cell, the so-called "division spindle" appears. At the stage of anaphase of division, the spindle microtubules contract and "pull" the chromosomes to the opposite poles of the cell, where the nuclei of daughter cells are formed.
Under the action of a cytostatic agent, microtubules are destroyed, and the chromosomes cannot disperse to the poles. This leads either to the formation of a tetraploid cell (having a quadruple set of chromosomes instead of a normal double one) or to its death.
The unique property of vincristine and vinblastine to purposefully induce cell death during mitosis is indispensable in the treatment of oncological diseases. Cancer cells differ from normal cells precisely in that they are continually dividing. This explains the rapid growth of neoplasms. Alkaloids selectively kill dividing cellswithout touching the cells of other tissues of the body, which are "at rest".
This unique property allows the use of catharanthus rosea alkaloids in the treatment of oncological diseases, such as:
- acute leukemia;
- chorionic carcinoma;
- Kaposi's sarcoma;
- inoperable breast cancer;
- ovarian and testicular tumors;
- cancer of the bladder, kidney, nasopharynx;
- lung cancer.
Medicines based on vinblastine are not prescribed for pregnant women, nursing mothers, patients with leukopenia, with depressed bone marrow function, as well as for infectious diseases.
Vincristine and Vinblastine Have Side Effects:
- Vincristine has a neurotoxic effect, leading to neurological complications, movement disorders, loss of tendon reflexes, paresis, etc.
- A side effect of vinblastine is myelosuppression, that is, suppression of the hematopoietic organs. Perhaps a decrease in the number of leukocytes, convulsions, damage to the peripheral nervous system, coma.
How to use catharanthus - recipes
In herbal medicine, catharanthus pink is used to treat:
- gynecological diseases;
- male urology;
Aqueous tincture is used:
- with colitis and enteritis;
- externally she is treated with lichens, eczema, poorly healing purulent ulcers, wounds.
Rinsing is used for toothaches.
Important! Pink catharanthus is a poisonous plant. Funds based on it have many side effects and contraindications. Any amateur activity not approved by a doctor, especially when trying to self-medicate oncology, is extremely dangerous here!
Dry herb of pink catharanthus - 1 tablespoon.
- Pour a glass of boiling water over, boil for 30 seconds.
- Insist for 20-30 minutes, drain.
- Take 1 teaspoon diluted in 50 ml of water 2-3 times a day, one hour before meals.
Water infusion is advised to take in diabetes... As external lotions for:
- skin diseases;
Catharanthus are not only pink. You can find out about ampelous and other plant varieties in our materials.
- Dry herb of pink catharanthus - 1 tablespoon. Pour 1 cup of cold boiled water.
- Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
- Insist until completely cooled.
- The course is two to three weeks, three times a day, before meals, 1 tablespoon.
A decoction of pink catharanthus is used for:
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- with diabetes;
- and also as a mild pain reliever.
Tincture of pink catharanthus is used as:
- blood-purifying, tonic agent;
- as well as for hypertension, varicose veins, stomach ulcers, prostatitis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, eczema.
- Finely chop the twigs of the pink catharanthus with leaves.
- Pour two tablespoons of the crumbled mixture with 250 ml of vodka or 70-degree alcohol.
- Insist, stirring occasionally, for 10 days.
The course of treatment is three months:
- In the first week, take a tincture of 5 drops per 1 tablespoon. water 30 minutes before meals.
- Then take a break for a week.
- Then take for 21 days, 10 drops per 1 tablespoon of water.
- Take a weekly break again and continue according to the indicated scheme.
When treating with pink catharanthus, you should carefully monitor the condition of the kidneys and liver!
- Catharanthus pink on the site should be grown in an open, sunny place, protected from the winds. They are planted in open ground in spring, when warm weather sets in with a temperature of at least 25 ° C.
- Either cuttings obtained by rooting a houseplant, or specimens grown from seeds, or bushes that have survived the winter are planted, and in this case, large bushes can be divided.
- Dig up the flowerbed, add gravel. Form a hole, fill with a soil mixture: turf, leafy soil, humus, sand and peat in equal proportions. Acidic soil is undesirable, optimal pH = 5.5-5.8.
- Plant the plants avoiding crowding. Care is simple: pruning, feeding, regular, but moderate watering. The soil should not dry out, but also not be excessively wet. In the heat, it is advisable to spray the plants.
- Top dressing should be done 2-3 times a month. Fertilizers containing a full set of trace elements - boron, copper, molybdenum, manganese, iron, zinc - are preferred.
Further, an informative video about caring for a pink catharanthus:
Preparation for wintering
In winter, the thermophilic pink catharanthus freezes out in our area.
- In early October, the plant needs to be dug up, the stems should be cut by 2/3.
- Pick up a spacious pot, place a plant in it, cover the roots to the top with a mixture of earth and sand.
- The plant should overwinter in a room with a temperature of 15-150C. No need to water.
Growing in a room
- Pink catharanthus requires a warm, bright room with sufficient air humidity. Grows well in southern rooms, but does not like direct sunlight. The best temperature in the room is 20-250FROM.
- In winter and in cloudy weather, backlighting is required from 4-6 to 8-10 hours. With a lack of light, growth slows down, flowering stops.
- In excessively dry air, the plant turns yellow, it can be invaded by spider mites and other parasites. Spraying helps little here. The best solution in such a situation is a special device for air humidification.
There is a lot of information about growing catharanthus here.
Pink catharanthus is an excellent ornamental plant. Caring for him is simple. With just a little effort, you can admire its flowers all year round - both in the apartment and in the garden.