Periwinkle small – Vinca minor L. Ukrainian name – periwinkle maliy, popular name – periwinkle chreshchaty.
Family kutrovye – Arosynaseae.
The herb is used for medicinal purposes.
It occurs almost throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the Donetsk Forest-Steppe and the southern steppe regions. Not common in the northern part of the Steppe. It grows in forests (beech, hornbeam, oak and others), less often in later forest shrubs. It often forms continuous, almost pure thickets with an area of tens and even hundreds of hectares, especially in the Carpathians, Transcarpathians, Rostochye-Opole and Podolia (Transcarpathian, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Khmelnitsky, Vinnitsa regions). In these areas, the main industrial procurement of raw materials is produced. Smaller periwinkle is found less frequently and in smaller quantities in the south of Polissya and in the Forest-Steppe (Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Poltava, Kharkov, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad regions). A common ornamental plant in villages – in flower beds and cemeteries.
Stocks of raw materials are large. Dozens of tons can be harvested annually, however, due to the replacement of natural forests with artificial plantations, the use of plants for wreaths, bouquets, and intensive harvesting in recent years, stocks are rapidly declining. The dimensions of the blanks will need to be adjusted. Reserves and nature reserves should be organized, and the plant should also be introduced into cultivation. The average annual harvesting of periwinkle grass in the republic for three years (1974-1976) amounted to 88.7 tons.
Periwinkle small – an evergreen shrub with a thin horizontal rhizome, up to 50-70 cm long, with root bundles at the nodes. Stems of 2 types – fruiting vertical and barren creeping. The leaves are opposite, 3-7 cm long. The flowers are axillary, solitary, on long peduncles. The corolla is tubular-funnel-shaped, within 18 mm in diameter, with five limb petals. Blooms in May. Fruits – leaflets, are formed very infrequently, ripen in July.
In Ukraine, in the steppe and southern part of the forest-steppe regions, another type of periwinkle is found – the herbaceous periwinkle, growing on steppe slopes, steppe forest edges and clearings, among shrubs, sometimes in sparse forests. Contains the same alkaloids as periwinkle. Effective for hypertension.
Types of periwinkle differ in a number of ways.
Grass is harvested in spring and early summer during flowering and later (May-June), cutting it with sickles or knives. It is impossible to pull out plants with rhizomes, as this leads to the rapid destruction of thickets. On the same arrays, it is possible to harvest only after 3-5 years.
Dry grass in attics or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or cloth. The yield of dry raw materials is 40%.
Raw materials are exported. By agreement with foreign firms, it should consist of stems within 1.5 mm in diameter with or without flowers and leathery, oblong-elliptical leaves with edges bent down or only from leaves alone. Leaves above should be dark green, shiny, below – lighter, stems – light green. There is no smell. The taste is bitter. Humidity is not higher than 14%. In raw materials, no more than% is allowed: stems without leaves – 20, organic impurities – 2, mineral – 1.
Raw materials are packed in flax-jute bags of the same weight and stored in dry, well-ventilated rooms on pallets or racks. The herb contains alkaloids – vincamine, vinine, pubestsin, etc. They are used as a means of dilating the vessels of the brain, in the form of hypotensive products.