Known as Madagascar periwinkle was used in Madagascar, and in many of the countries as a folk treatment for diabetes.
Researchers investigating its medicinal properties discovered that it contained a group of alkaloids that had potential uses in cancer
treatment. Two of these alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine, can be used in purified form to treat common types of leukemia and
lymphoma. The discovery of vincristine is credited with raising the survival rate of childhood leukemia from under 10% to over 90%.