The Health Risks & Benefits of the Oleander Plant

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Oleander Plant

Warning: Oleander extract is made from a highly-lethal, poisonous plant. The following post is meant to offer exciting insight into emerging scientific evidence of its use as a natural remedy. Taking this extract without the guidance of an expert can lead to serious health complications, including death.

Recently I have had alot of questions regarding the benefits and risks of taking Oleander Extract for cancer as well as the bird or swine flu and other conditions. I think that this plant has amazing properties and is definitely worth writing a post about.

I do, however, recommend anyone wanting to take this herb do their own research. Sometimes the most poisonous plants give us the most rapid health benefits but must be used with extreme caution.

The Origins of Oleander

Known in ancient texts as “the desert rose,” historical references show that 15th century B.C. Mesopotamians trusted in the healing benefits of oleander extracts. From a remedy for hangovers to a herb studied for cancer, the Babylonians, Romans, Arabs and ancient Greeks alike used this herbal extract for a variety of health concerns.

Oleander, also known as laurier rose, dogbane and rosebay, is native to the Western Himalayas. It is an incredibly hardy, adaptable plant which grows thick and green in mountainous climates.

Quickly growing, this plant bears clusters of lovely pinkish-white and red flowers in the spring time. Traditionally, oleander leaf has been used to treat a number of health conditions. If you live in the southern United States, chances are you or your neighbors may have some growing in the yard.

Modern studies show that while no single chemical component of the extract can be stated as the sole source of its health benefits, the powerful activity of the plant comes from a highly complex amalgamation of components held within the combined form of the extract. These components work synergistically to boost and stimulate the human immune system, offering support for a wide variety of health concerns.

List of Possible Health Benefits of Oleander

Oleander also works as a low-level toxicant to boost immune function in individuals in the following ways:

  • Contains tremendous immune boosting action
  • Inhibits angiogenesis
  • Inhibits NF-kB factor in cancer cells
  • Causes apoptosis in cancerous cells (natural cell death)
  • Causes and increased rates of autophagic cancer cell death when tested on pancreatic cancer

Today, scientists are looking into the possible health benefits of heavily diluted oleander:

  • Helping with muscle cramps
  • Natural support for asthma, epilepsy and paralysis
  • Help for skin conditions such as eczema
  • Powerful all natural organic insecticide
  • Usefulness in aiding heart conditions
  • Natural support for healthy blood sugar levels
  • Possible support for the HIV virus
  • Usefulness in increasing healing times for wounds, when crushed and applied topically
  • Powerful immune-system stimulator
  • Promoting normal menstrual cycles
  • Aiding the body in the fight against arthritis, psoriasis & hepatitis C

Oleander Extract: Did You Know?

The government of South Africa is currently endorsing the use of oleander extract as a treatment for HIV. Similarly, many universities and institutions in the country are following suit, using the extract for the support of cancer patients [1].

Studies by Doctor Ozel, head of the surgical department at Mugla State Hospital of Turkey, found that oleander extract was useful in treating human cancer patients who had been considered terminal cases by conventional medical therapy [2].

Oleander: Side Effects & Contraindications

oleander flower

While oleander may possess many healing properties, much like many powerful botanical remedies, this plant can also be deadly when taken or prepared incorrectly. This plant should never be eaten raw, as its raw extract form is highly toxic. One raw leaf has enough poison in it to kill a small child, as well as any pet [3].

There have been many cases of poisoning and death due to intake of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and its extracts. Even eating honey made from the nectar of the plant can produce dangerous effects [4].

Due to this fact, supplemental use of this plant should ONLY be done under the guidance of a trained herbalist or doctor, under careful observation and controlled conditions. Similarly, due to the highly toxic nature of the plant, this botanical should only be taken in cases of disease support, and is NOT recommended as a daily supportive health supplement.

If anyone is interested I would only recommend using the Sutherlandia OPC brand. Studies show that Dr. Ozel’s oleander-based remedy was over six times as potent as the most powerful, commercially sold immune-stimulants.

Please remember, that when it comes to Oleander, do the proper research and check with a trained herbalist or doctor prior to ingesting any supplements with Oleander extract in it.

References (5)
  1. Tony Isaacs. History of the Oleander Plant. Disabled World. 2007 November 28.
  2. Tony Isaacs. An Amazing Discovery in Turkey-Part1 of the Oleander Series. Natural News. 2008 April 6.
  3. Davies MK, Mayne AJ. Oleander poisoning. Arch Dis Child. 2001 Jan;84(1):9.
  4. Jacob L. Heller MD MHA,Virginia Mason, David Zieve, MD MHA. Oleander Poisoning. The New York Times Health Guide. 2009 October 13.
  5. “Don’t put your guard down in your garden: These deadly plants may be lurking in your backyard.” Garden. BillyOh, 2 June 2016. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.

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