Tsitsirika is an erect, smooth or slightly hairy, simple or slightly branched plant, 30 to 50 centimeters high.
Stems are somewhat woody. Leaves are oblong, 4 to 7 centimeters long, rounded at
tip, pointed at base. Flowers are white, pink, or red, or variegated
white and red, 3.5 cm to 5 centimeters across, borne in the axils of the
leaves. Calyx-lobes are green and very slender. about 4 millimeters long. Corolla-tube is slender, 2.5 to 3 centimeters long, and pale green; the limb is spreading with obliquely obovate lobes 1.7 to 2.5 centimeters wide. Fruit is a hairy and cylindric follicle, 2 to 3 centimeters long.
- Introduced as an ornamental.
- A native of tropical America.
Flowers all year-round.
- Established in many parts of the Philippines and is often very abundant
along sandy seashores.
- Now pantropic.
- Leaves yield a
volatile oil containing aldehyde, sesquiterpenes, furfural, sulphur-containing
compounds and an alcohol, lochnerol.
Plant yields an amorphous
- Compounds identified: Alkaloids (vincristine, vinblastine, ibogaine, yohimbine, raubasine), flavonoids (hirsutidin).
- Plant yields more than 100 monoterpenoid indole alkaloids.
Leaves and stems yield dimeric alkaloids vincristine and vinblastine.
- Roots yield ajmalicine and serpentine.
- Leaves are vomitive.
- Leaf alkaloids considered anti-cancer.
Roots are purgative, vermifuge, depurative, hemostatic.
- Considered antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
Leaves, whole plant.
- In the Philippines, decoction of leavesused in diabetes.
- Decoction of young leaves used for stomach cramps.
- Root decoction for intestinal parasitism; as emmenagogue; may produce
- Infusion of leaves used for treating menorrhagia.
- Crude leaf extract has anticancer activity.
- Recent use of roots for anticancer applications.
- Roots used for dysentery.
- In Madagascar, the bitter and astringent leaves used as vomitive; roots used as purgative, vermifuge, depurative, hemostatic and toothache remedy.
- In Orissa, juice of leaves used as application to wasp stings.
- In Mauritius, infusion of leaves used for indigetion and dyspepsia.
- In Ayurveda, used for diabetes.
- In India, juice of leaves used for bee
- In India, West Indies, and Nigeria used for diabetes.
- In Cuba and Jamaica,
flower extract used for eyewash in infants.
- In the Bahamas, flower decoction used for
- In Bermuda, used for high blood pressure.
- In Indo-China, used for dysmenorrhea.
(1) Study on the leaf
juice of C roseus showed a dose-dependent lowering of blood glucose
in both normal and diabetic rabbits comparable to the standard drug,
glibenclamide. The mechanism of action was probably through enhanced
secretion of insulin from the ß-cells. (2) Study of C roseus,
A indica and A sativum showed significant antidiabetic activity for
all three medicinal plants supporting its Ayurvedic use for diabetes.
• Anti-Cancer: The anti-cancer drugs, vincristine and vinblastine,
are derived from the alkaloids of periwinkle. The alkaloid has growth
inhibition effects to some human tumors. Vinblastine is used experimentally
for treatment of neoplasms and is recommended for Hodgkin's disease
and choriocarcinoma. Vincrisine, another alkaloid, is used for leukemia
in children. Vinblastin is sold as Velban; vincristine, as Oncovin.
• Anti-Bacterial: (1) Crude
extracts from different parts of C roseus was tested for antibacterial
activity. Extracts from the leaves showed significantly higher efficacy.
Study suggests that bioactive compounds of CR can be a potentially exploited
as antibacterial agents. (2) Study showed pattern of inhibition depends on extraction procedure, part of plant used, state of plant, solvent used, and microorganism tested. The ethanolic extract was most active against almost all bacterial organisms tested. Gram positive bacteria were found more sensitive than gram-negative ones.
• Cytochrome P450 Inhibition:
Study isolated two triterpenes and three alkaloids. Two
alkaloids, ajmalicine and serpentine showed very potent inhibitory activity
• Wound Healing: Study
showed increased wound contraction and tensile strength, increased hydroxyproline
content and supports the topical use of CR in wound healing.
• Triadimefon / Antioxidant / Ajmalicine: The effects of triadmefon, a triazole compound on the antioxidant potentials and root alkaloid ajmalicine content were studies in two varieties of C roseus, rosea and alba. Triadimefon treatment increased the antioxidant potentials and the indole alkaloid ajmalicine (more in the rosea variety than the alba variety) content. Results suggest triadimefon may be a useful tool for increasing alkaloid production in medicinal plants.
• Transcriptone: C roseus is known to produce a distinct spectrum of terpenoid indole alkaloids. A growth-related decrease in shoot/leaf dat and sgd transcript levels were paralleled by a decrease in shoot/leaf vindoline content.
• Polyphenolics / Antioxidants: Study of non-colored phenolics in C roseus characterized three caffeoylquinic acids and 15 flavonol glycosides. The scavenging ability of different plant matrices was assessed and a concentration-dependent protective effect was observed for seeds and tissues, with petals found to be most active.
• Hypotensive / Hypolipidemic: C roseus leaves extract made significant changes in each cardiovascular parameter after investigation with hypotensive and hypolipidemic effects in leaves extract treated animals.
• Anthelmintic: Study of leaves extract of Cr showed potent anthelmintic activity in experimental adult earthworm Pheritima posthuma. There was concentration dependent paralysis and decrease in death time. In the study, the control drug Piperazine citrate showed more potent anthelmintic activity compared to the methanol aqueous, ethanol and ethylacetate extract.
• Antidiabetic / Increased Enzymic Activity: Study of a dichlormethane:methanol extract of leaves and twigs in a STZ-induced diabetic rat model exhibited hypoglycemic activity. Decreased enzymic activities in liver of diabetic animals were significantly improved after extract treatment. Increased levels of lipid peroxidation indicative of oxidative stress were also normalized by extract treatment.
Cultivated ornamental plant.