Common Names: oleande, rokttokarobi or korobifull (bengali name)
Habitat :Nerium oleander is either native or naturalized to a broad area from Mauritania, Morocco, and Portugal eastward through the Mediterranean region and the Sahara (where it is only found sporadically), to the Arabian peninsula, southern Asia, and as far East as Yunnan in southern parts of China. It typically occurs around dry stream beds. Nerium oleander is planted in many subtropical and tropical areas of the world. On the East Coast of the US, it can be planted as far north as Virginia Beach, Virginia, while in California and Texas it is naturalized as a median strip planting.It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested. The ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco may have taken its name from the Berber name oualilt for the flower
Nerium oleanderis an evergreen shrub or small tree. It grows to 2–6 m (6.6–20 ft) tall, with erect stems that splay outward as they mature; first-year stems have a glaucous bloom, while mature stems have a grayish bark. The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and leathery, dark-green, narrow lanceolate, 5–21 cm (2.0–8.3 in) long and 1–3.5 cm (0.39–1.4 in) broad, and with an entire margin. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink to red, 2.5–5 cm (0.98–2.0 in) diameter, with a deeply 5-lobed fringed corolla round the central corolla tube. They are often, but not always, sweet-scented. The fruit is a long narrow capsule 5–23 cm (2.0–9.1 in) long, which splits open at maturity to release numerous downy seeds.
Medicinal uses of nerium oleander include treating ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leprosy. In addition, oleander has been used to treat ringworm, herpes, and abscesses. Although people have used this supplement for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, nerium oleander is very toxic and has been determined to be unsafe for human use.
Oleander poisoning can occur with uses of even small doses and can cause nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dizziness. In addition, nerium oleander toxicity can cause loss of appetite and dilated pupils. The symptoms of toxicity typically occur within three hours of consumption and without emergency medical intervention, serious health consequences can occur. If these and other symptoms such as shortness of breath and difficulty breathing occur, 911 should be notified.
Serious effects of oleander toxicity can include seizures, heart irregularities, and hypotension. In addition, fatal cardiac complications and loss of consciousness can occur as well. Treatment for this medical emergency includes the administration of activated charcoal and intravenous fluids. In addition, gastric lavage, or stomach pumping, may be done to remove as much of the substance as possible from the stomach.
Drugs derived from Nerium oleander have been investigated as a treatment for cancer. According to the American Cancer Society the trials have produced no evidence of benefit, but they did however cause adverse side-effects.
Oleanderis a Ornamental gardening plant. It grows well in warm subtropical regions, where it is extensively used as an ornamental plant in landscapes, in parks, and along roadsides. It is drought-tolerant and will tolerate occasional light frost down to ?10 °C (14 °F).It is commonly used in landscaping freeway medians in California, Texas and other mild-winter states in the Continental United States because it is upright in habit and easily maintained. Its toxicity renders it deer-resistant. It is tolerant of poor soils and drought. Oleander can also be grown in cooler climates in greenhouses and conservatories, or as indoor plants that can be kept outside in the summer. Oleander flowers are showy and fragrant and are grown for these reasons. Over 400 cultivars have been named, with several additional flower colours not found in wild plants having been selected, including red, purple, pink, and orange; white and a variety of pinks are the most common. Many cultivars also have double flowers. Young plants grow best in spaces where they do not have to compete with other plants for nutrients.
Known Hazards:Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants.It has historically been considered a poisonous plant because some of its compounds may exhibit toxicity, especially to animals, when consumed in high amounts. Among these compounds are oleandrin and oleandrigenin, known as cardiac glycosides, which are known to have a narrow therapeutic index and can be toxic when ingested.
Toxicity studies of animals administered oleander extract concluded that rodents and birds were observed to be relatively insensitive to oleander cardiac glycosides. Other mammals, however, such as dogs and humans, are relatively sensitive to the effects of cardiac glycosides and the clinical manifestations of “glycoside intoxication”.
However, despite the common “poisonous” designation of this plant, very few toxic events in humans have been reported. According to the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS) in 2002 there were 847 human exposures to oleander reported to poison centers in the United States. Despite this exposure level, from 1985 through 2005, only three deaths were reported. One cited death was apparently due to the ingestion of oleander leaves by a diabetic man. His blood indicated a total blood concentration of cardiac glycosides of approximately 20 ?g/L which is well above the reported fatal level. Another study reported on the death of a woman who self-administered “an undefined oleander extract” both orally and rectally and her oleandrin tissue levels were 10 to 39 ?g/g which were in the high range of reported levels at autopsy. And, finally, one study reported the death of a woman who ingested oleander ‘tea’. Few other details were provided.
In contrast to consumption of these undefined oleander derived materials, there is no toxicity or deaths reported from topical administration or contact with Nerium oleander or specific products derived from them. In reviewing oleander toxicity Lanford and Boor concluded that, except for children who might be at greater risk, “the human mortality associated with oleander ingestion is generally very low, even in cases of moderate intentional consumption (suicide attempts)”.
Toxicity studies that have been conducted in dogs and rodents administered oleander extracts by intramuscular (IM) injection indicated that on an equivalent weight basis, doses of an oleander extract with glycosides ten times in excess of those likely to be administered therapeutically to humans are still safe and without any “severe toxicity observed.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.