Vinca Rosea: Biological source, Morphology, Chemical Constituents and Therapeutic Uses

Vinca Rosea: Biological source, Morphology, Chemical Constituents and Therapeutic Uses


1. Biological sources :
• The botanical name of vinca is Vinca rosea.
• It also known as catharanthus and Madagascar periwinkle.
• It belongs to Apocynaceae family.
• The biological source of vinca is the dried entire plant and aerial part of Catharanthus roseus Linn.

2. Morphological features :
• This plant is perennial.
• The colour of leaves of this plant is green .
• The colour of flowers are violet, pinkish white or carmine red.
• Roots are pale grey in colour.
• Vinca has characteristic odour and taste is bitter.
• Flowers are hermaphrodite i.e. contain both male and female organs.
• The leaves of vinca are petiolate, entire margin.
• Leaves are ovate or oblong in shape and have glossy appearance.
• Leaves have acute apex.
• Fruits of vinca are follicles with numerous black seeds.
• It is a herbaceous subshurb, having height 40-80cm.
• Leaves are oppositely arranged.
• Flowers are slaveform and 2-7cm broad with generally 5 petals joined together at the base to form a tubule.
• The fruits are divergent follicle.

3. Chemical constituents :
• Vinca contain indole alkaloids in large amount, mainly vincristine and vinblastine.
• Vinca also contain other alkaloids such as ajmalicine, serpentine and lochnerine as a chemical compound.
• When coupling of indole alkaloids such as catharanthine and vindoline occur, they produce vinca alkaloids.

4. Adulterants :
Vindoline type alkaloids are contained by the other catharanthus species such as C. longifolius, C. trichophyllus, and C.lanceus.

5. Uses/Medicinal Uses :
• It is used to treat lymphomas
• The Hodgkin’s disease is treated by vinca because it contains vinblastin as a chemical constituent.
• Also it helps to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas .
• Acute lymphocytic leukemia is treated by the help of vincristine part of vinca herb.

1. What is the biological source of vinca?
(a) Aerial part of vinca shrub
(b) Roots of vinca shrubs
(c) Leaves of vinca shrub
(d) All of the above

2. The botanical name of vinca is
(a) Catharanthus roseus
(b) Pisum sativum
(c) Brassica juncea
(d) Allium cepa

3. Match the following with respect to chemical constituent of plants
I. Kurchi A. feruloyhistamine
II. Vinca B. conessine
III. Vasaca C. vasicine
IV. Ephedra D. vincristine

4. Predict the incorrect statements from the following with respect to the morphology of vinca
I. Vinca is a subshurb.
II.Flowers of vinca are diclinous.
III.Leaves are needle shaped.
IV.Fruits are divergent follicle.

(a) I and IV
(b) II and III
(c) I and III
(d) II and IV
5. Vinca show adulterantion with
(a) Terpenes
(b) Conessine
(c) Catharanthus longifolius
(d) All of the above
6. Roots of vinca subshurb are
(a) Pale grey
(b) Yellow
(c) Brown
(d) Reddish brown
7. Vinca used to treat
(a) Acute lymphocytic leukemia
(b) Cancer
(c) Skin diseases
(d) All of the above
8. The chemical constituents of vinca are
(a) Vincristine
(b) Serpentine
(c) Ajmalicine
(d) All of the above
9. Leaves of vinca are
(a) Petiolate
(b) Ovate in shape
(c) Have acute apex
(d) All of the above
10. The height of vinca plant
(a) 60-7-cm
(b) 40-80 cm
(c) 30-40 cm
(d) 20-30 cm

1. (a)
2. (a)
3. (c)
4. (b)
5. (c)
6. (a)
7. (a)
8. (d)
9. (d)
10. (b)

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Evans W. C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. New York, Saunders Elsevier, 2009, p. 444,36.

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