Oleander zvichayny – common oleander

A bush or small (3-4 m tall) tree of the periwinkle family. The stems are branched, with a smooth light gray bark. The leaves are evergreen, leathery, entire, pubescent underneath. The flowers are regular, bisexual, on long downy peduncles, collected in apical umbels; the corolla is pink, less often white, with fused petals, with a five-lobed bend and toothed outgrowths in the throat. The fruit consists of two leaves. Blooms from June to August.

Spread. Common oleander comes from the Mediterranean. In the Southern Crimea, it is widely grown in open ground as an ornamental plant. It is also grown as an indoor flower plant.

Procurement and storage . Fully developed oleander leaves (Folia Nerii oleandri; Folia Nerii, Folia Oleandri) are used to make medicines, which are harvested in October – November or April (before the active growth of shoots). Preference is given to the spring harvesting period. The leaves are brushed by hand (wearing protective gloves!) from the shoots cut during the decorative formation of the bushes and quickly dried under shelter in the open air or in warm rooms, spreading out a thin (2-3 cm thick) layer on cloth or paper. Artificial drying is carried out at a temperature of 50°. Drying is stopped when the petioles become brittle. Oleander is stored separately from other raw materials, observing the rules for storing poisonous plants. Fresh or dried flowers with leaves (tops of flowering branches) are often used for local treatment.

Chemical composition . Oleander leaves contain cardenolides oleandrin (0.08-0.15%), digitalin, desacetyloleandrin and odinerin, diuretic substance nerin, flavonoids (rutin, kaempferol-3-rhamnoglucoside, etc.), saponin carabin, ursolic acid.

Pharmacological properties and use. Oleander is a common effective cardiotonic agent, similar in its action to digitalis cardiac agents. In the process of experimental studies, it was established that oleander products improve cardiac activity, slow down the heart rhythm, increase diuresis, expand coronary vessels, and lower blood pressure. In contrast to digitalis glycosides, oleander glycosides act faster and more gently, and are quickly excreted from the body. In addition to cardiotonic action, water extracts of oleander show antiviral activity and have cytotoxic properties. Common oleander is prescribed in case of tachyarrhythmia, mild forms of heart failure and angina pectoris. In folk medicine, an infusion of oleander leaves is drunk for nervous exhaustion, headaches, epilepsy, apoplexy, insomnia, muscle spasms, diarrhea and as a carminative.

Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – infusion of leaves (1 teaspoon of raw material per 500 ml of boiling water, infuse for 1 hour) 25-30 ml three times a day before meals.

Externally – rubbing and lotions with an infusion of dried flowers and leaves (100 g of raw material per 1 liter of boiling water, infuse for several hours) for scabies and dermatitis caused by insect bites;

rubbing with ointment from fresh flowers and leaves (prepared on lard in a ratio of 3:5, after thorough mixing, heated in a water bath for 15 minutes) with scabies.

Common oleander contains powerful substances, so the medicine from it must be strictly dosed, and treated – with the permission and under the supervision of a doctor.

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