Nerium oleander L Apocynaceae Oleander

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Flowers of Nerium oleander Nerium oleander shrub

Description: Nerium oleander L. is a small shrub up to 2 m high. Leaves are very narrowly elliptic, 5-21 by 1-3.5 cm, dark green, without stipules, leathery and arranged in whorls of three. Flowers are showy and fragrant. Sepals are narrowly triangular to narrowly ovate, 3-10 mm. Corolla is purplish red, pink, white, salmon, or yellow. Fruits consist of cylindrical follicles, 12-23 cm. Seeds are oblong, coma, about 0.9-1.2 cm.[1,2]

Origin: Native to southern Europe,[2] and widely cultivated and naturalised in Asia, Europe and North America.[1]

Phytoconstituents: Oleandroside, kaneroside, neriaside, nerigoside, neriu-moside, neridiginoside, nerizoside, neritaloside, proceragenin, neridienone A, cardenolides N-1 to N-4 and others.[3-11]

Traditional Medicinal Uses: The plant is used in Ayurveda to treat scabies, eye disease and haemorrhoids.[3] It is used to treat parasitic infection in Calabria (Southern Italy).[12] Leaf decoction is used to treat diabetes in southeastern Morocco.[13] Bark, leaf, flower are used medicinally as a cardiotonic and diuretic.[14]

Pharmacological Activities: Analgesic,[15] Anti-inflammatory,[8'915] Antibacterial,[16] Anticancer/Antineoplastic,[8917-22] Antifungal,[23] Depressant,[2425] Antimitotic,[26]Insecticidal,[27] Larvicidal,[28] Muscle stimula-tory[29-30] and inhibits Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) activation.[31]

Dosage: No information as yet.

Adverse Reactions: Depression, dizziness, stupor, headache, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal cramps, spontaneous abortion, hypersensitivity, contact dermatitis, hyperkalemia and tachypnea.[32]

Toxicity: Toxic to humans[33-39] and animals.[40-48] The plant contains numerous toxic compounds, many of which can be deadly to people.[33-39] Ingestion can cause both gastrointestinal and cardiac effects and also affect the central nervous system.[33-39]

Contraindications: Should not be used during pregnancy and lactation, in children and in persons with hypersensitivity to oleander.[32] Should not be taken internally.[49]

Drug-Herb Interactions: Fatal digitalis toxicity can occur with concurrent usage of cardiac glycosides such as digoxin and digitoxin.[32] Concurrent use of quinidine, calcium salts, saluretics, laxatives or glucocorticids increases efficacy as well as side effects.[3]

54. Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawl. (Liliaceae) Dwarf Lilyturf, Mondo Grass, Mai Men Dong

Ophiopogon japonicus herb

Description: Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawl. is an evergreen, stemless, rhizomatous herb. Leaves are sessile, long, 10-50 cm by 2-4 mm, linear, grass-like, 3-7 veined, and have pointed tips. Flowers are either solitary or paired.[1,2]

Origin: Native to Japan and Korea.[2]

Phytoconstituents: Ophiopogonin D and E, ophiopogonin C' and D', bor-nanol, ophiopogonanone A, C, E and F, ophiopojaponin D and others.[3-9]

Traditional Medicinal Uses: The roots are used to cool the body system, as a tonic, purgative, thirst quencher, treatment for sore throat, cough and fever. [10] In China, the roots are also used to treat bronchitis, cold, dysuria, haemoptysis, laryngitis, restlessness, thirst, tuberculosis, stress, as an aphrodisiac, promoting fertility and memory, also as a sialogogue, to treat cancer and frequently included in polyherbal prescriptions for diabetes mellitus. The Indochinese uses the rhizomes to treat fever and inflammation, as a febrifuge, galactagogue, and also for intestinal, kidney and liver ailments.[3]

Pharmacological Activities: Antiarrhythmic,[11] Anti-inflammatory,[1213] Antithrombotic,[1415] Immunomodulatory,[16] Immunostimulatory,[1718] Cardioprotective[19'20] and Chemoprotective.[21]

Dosage: The daily dose of tuberous roots of 6 to 20 g in the form of a decoction, pills or syrup consumed as an expectorant or antitussive.[22]

Adverse Reactions: No information as yet.

Toxicity: LD50 value of O. japonicus in mice was more than 2 g/kg intraperitoneally.[12]

Contraindications: No information as yet. Drug-Herb Interactions: No information as yet.

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