This plant originated in Madagascar but is widespread in the U.S. The 5-petalled flower may be lavender or white and bloom year-round. Tea from the flowers has been used to treat asthma. The leaves have been used to prepare a tea as a home remedy for diabetes, diarrhea, excessive menstrual flow and high blood pressure. The mature leaves and roots induce vomiting and have been used as a worm treatment. The mature leaves are toxic due to the presence of numerous alkaloids. Livestock have been poisoned as a result of eating the foliage. The alkaloids are being used to lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, arrest bleeding and as an anti-cancer medicine.