Nerium indicum Mill

Family ► Apocynaceae.

Habitat ► Native of Mediterranean region; grown in Indian gardens.

English ► Indian oleander, White oleander.

Ayurvedic ► Karavira, Viraka, Ashva-maaraka, Hayamaaraka, Gauripush-pa, Divyapushpa, Shatakumbha, Siddhapushpa (white-flowered var.). Raktapushpa, Raktaprasava, Ravipriya (red-flowered var.)

Unani ► Kaner Safed, Diflaa, Samm-ul-maar, Khar-zaharah.

Siddha/Tamil ► Arali, Alari, Aatrulari, Karaviram.

Action ► Root—resolvent and attenuant. A paste of the root is externally applied to haemorrhoids and ulcerations in leprosy. Paste of the root bark and leaves is used in ringworm and other skin diseases. An oil extracted from the root bark is used in skin diseases of scaly nature. Leaves—cardioactive (digitalis-like effect) and diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, insecticidal. Toxic.

The leaves contain several glycosides including glycosides of 8 beta-hydroxy-digitoxigenin. Cardenolide glycosides and pregnanolone glyco-sides have been isolated from roots.

The ethanolic extract of the flowers inhibits the growth of dermatophytes.

The plant shows antifungal activity against ringworm fungus, Microspo-rum nanum.

Dosage ► Detoxified leaves—30— 125 mg powder (API, Vol. I); root— 30 mg—125 mg powder (API, Vol. III).

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