Nerium oleander Linn

Family ► Apocynaceae.

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

English ► Red Oleander, Rose Bay.

(The white- and red-flowered varieties are equated with Nerium oleander; both possess similar properties. The yellow-flowered variety is equated with Thevetia peruviana.)

Nervilia aragoana Gaudich.

Key application ► Leaf—included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E. Positively inotropic and negatively chronotropic actions have been mentioned; the use of leaf for diseases and functional disorders of the heart, as well as for skin diseases has been indicated.

The leaves and roots gave a number of active principles including gly-cosides, terpenoids, sterols and other compounds. Cardiac steroids, isolated from the leaf, include oleandrin, gen-tiobiosyl oleandrin, odoroside. The stem contained alanine arginine, as-partic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine. A polysaccharide (2.3%), containing galacturonic acid, rhamnose, arabinose and galactose has been isolated from leaves.

Neutral fraction from leaves at low doses caused marked suppression of locomotor activity.

Aqueous extract of leaves showed significant antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The leaves also showed insecticidal activity.

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