Adelfa, Baladre, Cascabela thevetia, Cerbera thevetia, Common Oleander, Exile Tree, Huang Hua Jia, Jia Zhu Tao, Kaner, Karvir, Karvira, Laurel Rosa, Laurier-Rose, Laurier Rose, Laurose, Lorier Bol, Nérier à Feuilles de Laurier, Nérion, Nerium indicum, Nerium Oleander, Nerium odorum, Oleanderblatter, Oléandre, Oleandri Folium, Rose Bay, Rose Laurel, Soland, Sweet Scented Oleander, Thevetia neriifolia, Thevetia peruviana, Yellow Oleander.


Overview Information

Oleander is a plant. Its use as a poison is well known. Some of the deaths from oleander are accidental but others are due to suicide. In parts of Asia it is commonly used as a suicide agent.

Despite the danger, oleander seeds and leaves are used to make medicine. Oleander is used for heart conditions, asthma, epilepsy, cancer, painful menstrual periods, leprosy, malaria, ringworm, indigestion, and venereal disease. Oleander is also used to cause abortions.

Oleander is sometimes applied to the skin to treat skin problems and warts.

How does it work?

Oleander contains chemicals called glycosides, which can affect the heart. These chemicals can slow the heart rate down. Some of these chemicals might also kill cancer cells.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of oleander for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Injecting a specific oleander product (Anvirzel) into the muscle is POSSIBLY SAFE when administered by a healthcare professional for up to 3 weeks.

Oleander is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to take by mouth. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, headache, stomach pain, serious heart problems, and many other side effects. Taking oleander leaf, oleander leaf tea, or oleander seeds has led to deadly poisonings.

Oleander is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when applied to the skin. It can be absorbed into the body in some people. Touching oleander sap can cause a rash.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It's LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to take oleander by mouth. But oleander is especially dangerous for people with the following conditions:

Children: Oleander is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in children. Taking the oleander leaf, oleander leaf tea, or oleander seeds has led to deadly poisonings.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking oleander by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE as it might cause an abortion or cause birth defects. There isn't enough information to know whether or not it is safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women to apply oleander to the skin. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Too little potassium or too much calcium (electrolyte imbalance): Oleander affects the heart. An electrolyte imbalance also affects the heart. It's especially dangerous to use oleander if you have an electrolyte imbalance.

Heart disease: Don't use oleander to treat heart disease without the supervision of a healthcare professional. It's too dangerous to self-medicate.



Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

  • Antibiotics (Macrolide antibiotics) interacts with OLEANDER

    Oleander can affect the heart. Some antibiotics might increase how much oleander the body absorbs. Increasing how much oleander the body absorbs might increase the effects and side effects of oleander.
    Some antibiotics called macrolide antibiotics include erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin.

  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with OLEANDER

    Taking some antibiotics called tetracycline antibiotics along with oleander might increase the chance of side effects from oleander.
    Some tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with OLEANDER

    Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Oleander also seems to affect the heart. Taking oleander along with digoxin can increase the effects of digoxin and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take oleander if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your health care professional.

  • Quinine interacts with OLEANDER

    Oleander can affect the heart. Quinine can also affect the heart. Taking quinine along with oleander might cause serious heart problems.

  • Stimulant laxatives interacts with OLEANDER

    Oleander can affect the heart. The heart uses potassium. Laxatives called stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the chance of side effects from taking oleander.
    Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.

  • Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with OLEANDER

    Oleander might affect the heart. "Water pills" can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from oleander.
    Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Calcium supplements interacts with OLEANDER

    Oleander can stimulate the heartbeat. Calcium might also affect the heart. Taking oleander along with calcium might cause the heart to be too stimulated. Do not take oleander along with calcium supplements.



The appropriate dose of oleander depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for oleander. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Goerre, S. and Frohli, P. [A case from practice (261). Poisoning with digitoxin-like glycosides following eating of oleander leaves]. Schweiz.Rundsch.Med Prax. 1-26-1993;82(4):121-122. View abstract.
  • Gupta, A., Joshi, P., Jortani, S. A., Valdes, R., Jr., Thorkelsson, T., Verjee, Z., and Shemie, S. A case of nondigitalis cardiac glycoside toxicity. Ther.Drug Monit. 1997;19(6):711-714. View abstract.
  • Juurlink, D. N. and Sivilotti, M. L. Multidose activated charcoal for yellow oleander poisoning. Lancet 8-16-2003;362(9383):581. View abstract.
  • Kakrani, A. L., Rajput, C. S., Khandare, S. K., and Redkar, V. E. Yellow oleander seed poisoning with cardiotoxicity. A case report. Indian Heart J 1981;33(1):31-33. View abstract.
  • Kaojarern, S., Sukhupunyarak, S., and Mokkhavesa, C. Oleander Yee tho poisoning. J Med Assoc.Thai. 1986;69(2):108-112. View abstract.
  • Mallick, B. K. Cardiotoxicity in yellow oleander seed poisoning. J Indian Med Assoc. 1984;82(8):296-297. View abstract.
  • Manna, S. K., Sah, N. K., Newman, R. A., Cisneros, A., and Aggarwal, B. B. Oleandrin suppresses activation of nuclear transcription factor-kappaB, activator protein-1, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase. Cancer Res. 7-15-2000;60(14):3838-3847. View abstract.
  • McConkey, D. J., Lin, Y., Nutt, L. K., Ozel, H. Z., and Newman, R. A. Cardiac glycosides stimulate Ca2+ increases and apoptosis in androgen- independent, metastatic human prostate adenocarcinoma cells. Cancer Res. 7-15-2000;60(14):3807-3812. View abstract.
  • Mekhail, T., Kaur, H., Ganapathi, R., Budd, G. T., Elson, P., and Bukowski, R. M. Phase 1 trial of Anvirzel in patients with refractory solid tumors. Invest New Drugs 2006;24(5):423-427. View abstract.
  • Mesa, M. D., Anguita, M., Lopez-Granados, A., Vivancos, R., Suarez, de Lezo, Valles, F., and Bueno, G. [Digitalis poisoning from medicinal herbs. Two different mechanisms of production]. Rev.Esp.Cardiol. 1991;44(5):347-350. View abstract.
  • Middleton, WS and Chen, KK. Clinical results from oral administration of thevetin, a cardiac glycoside. Amer Heart J 1936;11:75-88.
  • Misra, A. Poisoning from Thevetia nerifolia (yellow oleander). Postgrad.Med J 1990;66(776):492. View abstract.
  • Nishioka, Sd and Resende, E. S. Transitory complete atrioventricular block associated to ingestion of Nerium oleander. Rev Assoc Med Bras 1995;41(1):60-62. View abstract.
  • Pathak, S., Multani, A. S., Narayan, S., Kumar, V., and Newman, R. A. Anvirzel, an extract of Nerium oleander, induces cell death in human but not murine cancer cells. Anticancer Drugs 2000;11(6):455-463. View abstract.
  • Pietsch, J., Oertel, R., Trautmann, S., Schulz, K., Kopp, B., and Dressler, J. A non-fatal oleander poisoning. Int J Legal Med 2005;119(4):236-240. View abstract.
  • Roberts, D. M., Southcott, E., Potter, J. M., Roberts, M. S., Eddleston, M., and Buckley, N. A. Pharmacokinetics of digoxin cross-reacting substances in patients with acute yellow Oleander (Thevetia peruviana) poisoning, including the effect of activated charcoal. Ther Drug Monit. 2006;28(6):784-792. View abstract.
  • Safadi, R., Levy, I., Amitai, Y., and Caraco, Y. Beneficial effect of digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments in oleander intoxication. Arch Intern.Med 10-23-1995;155(19):2121-2125. View abstract.
  • Samal, K. K. Yellow oleander poisoning with jaundice and renal failure. J Assoc Physicians India 1990;38(10):821-822. View abstract.
  • Samal, K. K., Sahu, H. K., Kar, M. K., Palit, S. K., Kar, B. C., and Sahu, C. S. Yellow oleander (cerbera thevetia) poisoning with jaundice and renal failure. J Assoc Physicians India 1989;37(3):232-233. View abstract.
  • Saraswat, D. K., Garg, P. K., and Saraswat, M. Rare poisoning with cerebra thevetia (yellow oleander). Review of 13 cases of suicidal attempt. J Assoc Physicians India 1992;40(9):628-629. View abstract.
  • Saravanapavananthan, N. and Ganeshamoorthy, J. Yellow oleander poisoning--a study of 170 cases. Forensic Sci.Int 1988;36(3-4):247-250. View abstract.
  • Shaw, D. and Pearn, J. Oleander poisoning. Med J Aust. 9-8-1979;2(5):267-269. View abstract.
  • Siddiqui, B. S., Sultana, R., Begum, S., Zia, A., and Suria, A. Cardenolides from the methanolic extract of Nerium oleander leaves possessing central nervous system depressant activity in mice. J Nat.Prod. 1997;60(6):540-544. View abstract.
  • Smith, J. A., Madden, T., Vijjeswarapu, M., and Newman, R. A. Inhibition of export of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) from the prostate cancer cell lines PC3 and DU145 by anvirzel and its cardiac glycoside component, oleandrin(1). Biochem Pharmacol. 8-15-2001;62(4):469-472. View abstract.
  • Storz, H. [On the effect of the oleander glycoside Corrigen (Oleandrin). Clinical studies]. Med Welt 7-15-1967;28:1650-1655. View abstract.
  • Thilagar, S., Thirumalaikolundusubramanian, P., Gopalakrishnan, S., Lakshmikandan, R., Ayyappan, A., and Subramanian, R. Possible yellow oleander toxicity in a neonate. Indian Pediatr 1986;23(5):393. View abstract.
  • Wang, X., Plomley, J. B., Newman, R. A., and Cisneros, A. LC/MS/MS analyses of an oleander extract for cancer treatment. Anal.Chem 8-1-2000;72(15):3547-3552. View abstract.
  • Al B, Yarbil P, Dogan M, ET AL. A case of non-fatal oleander poisoning. BMJ Case Rep 2010;2010. pii: bcr02.2009.1573. View abstract.
  • Arnold HL, Middleton WS, and Chen KK. The action of thevetin, a cardiac glucoside, and its clinical application. Amer Heart J 1935;189:193-206.
  • Bhatia, M. L., Manchanda, S. C., and Roy, S. B. Haemodynamic studies with peruvoside in human congestive heart failure. Br Med J 9-26-1970;3(725):740-743. View abstract.
  • Bhatia, M. L., Manchanda, S. S., Gupta, S. P., and Roy, S. B. Clinical and haemodynamic studies with peruvoside (Cd. 421) in congestive heart failure. Indian Heart J 1971;23(2):159-163. View abstract.
  • Blum, L. M. and Rieders, F. Oleandrin distribution in a fatality from rectal and oral Nerium oleander extract administration. J Anal.Toxicol. 1987;11(5):219-221. View abstract.
  • Bose, T. K., Basu, R. K., Biswas, B., De, J. N., Majumdar, B. C., and Datta, S. Cardiovascular effects of yellow oleander ingestion. J Indian Med Assoc. 1999;97(10):407-410. View abstract.
  • Bourgeois, B., Incagnoli, P., Hanna, J., and Tirard, V. [Nerium oleander self poisoning treated with digoxin-specific antibodies]. Ann.Fr.Anesth.Reanim. 2005;24(6):640-642. View abstract.
  • Brewster, D. Herbal poisoning: a case report of a fatal yellow oleander poisoning from the Solomon Islands. Ann.Trop.Paediatr. 1986;6(4):289-291. View abstract.
  • Camphausen, C., Haas, N. A., and Mattke, A. C. Successful treatment of oleander intoxication (cardiac glycosides) with digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments in a 7-year-old child: case report and review of literature. Z Kardiol. 2005;94(12):817-823. View abstract.
  • Dasgupta, A. and Hart, A. P. Rapid detection of oleander poisoning using fluorescence polarization immunoassay for digitoxin. Effect of treatment with digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragment (ovine). Am J Clin.Pathol. 1997;108(4):411-416. View abstract.
  • Dasgupta, A., Cao, S., and Wells, A. Activated charcoal is effective but equilibrium dialysis is ineffective in removing oleander leaf extract and oleandrin from human serum: monitoring the effect by measuring apparent digoxin concentration. Ther Drug Monit. 2003;25(3):323-330. View abstract.
  • de Silva, H. A., Fonseka, M. M., Pathmeswaran, A., Alahakone, D. G., Ratnatilake, G. A., Gunatilake, S. B., Ranasinha, C. D., Lalloo, D. G., Aronson, J. K., and de Silva, H. J. Multiple-dose activated charcoal for treatment of yellow oleander poisoning: a single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 6-7-2003;361(9373):1935-1938. View abstract.
  • Dorsey CS. Plant dermatitis in California. Calif Med 1962;96(6):412-413.
  • Durakovic, Z., Durakovic, A., and Durakovic, S. Oleander poisoning treated by resin haemoperfusion. J Indian Med Assoc. 1996;94(4):149-150. View abstract.
  • Eddleston, M. and Warrell, D. A. Management of acute yellow oleander poisoning. QJM. 1999;92(9):483-485. View abstract.
  • Altan E, Bitik B, Kalpakci Y, ET AL. Probable hepatotoxicity related to Nerium oleander extract in a patient with metastatic synovial sarcoma of the knee. J Altern Complement Med 2009;15:113. View abstract.
  • Bavunoglu I, Balta M, Türkmen Z. Oleander Poisoning as an example of self-medication attempt. Balkan Med J 2016;33:559-562. View abstract.
  • Boswell BR, Dorweiler MA, Erbs NC, Caplan JP. A case of Nerium oleander toxicity: a thorny predicament. Psychosomatics 2013;54:379-81. View abstract.
  • Burnham TH, ed. Drug Facts and Comparisons, Updated Monthly. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
  • Eddleston M, Rajapakse S, Rajakanthan K, et al. Anti-digoxin Fab fragments in cardiotoxicity induced by ingestion of yellow oleander: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet 2000;355:967-72. View abstract.
  • Eddleston M. Applied clinical pharmacology and public health in rural Asia--preventing deaths from organophosphorus pesticide and yellow oleander poisoning. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2013;75:1175-88. View abstract.
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
  • Furbee B, Wermuth M. Life-threatening plant poisoning. Crit Care Clin 1997;13:849-88. View abstract.
  • Haynes BE, Bessen HA, Wightman WD. Oleander tea: herbal draught of death. Ann Emerg Med 1985;14:350-3. View abstract.
  • Khan I, Kant C, Sanwaria A, Meena L. Acute cardiac toxicity of Nerium oleander/indicum poisoning (kaner) poisoning. Heart Views 2010;11:115-6. View abstract.
  • Langford SD, Boor PJ. Oleander toxicity: an examination of human and animal toxic exposures. Toxicology 1996;109:1-13. View abstract.
  • Papi L, Luciani AB, Forni D, Giusiani M. Unexpected double lethal oleander poisoning. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2012;33(1):93-7. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31822d33d4. View abstract.
  • Rajapakse S. Management of yellow oleander poisoning. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2009;47:206-12. View abstract.
  • Senthilkumaran S, Saravanakumar S, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P. Cutaneous absorption of Oleander: Fact or fiction. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2009;2:43-5. View abstract.
  • Tatlisu MA, Çekirdekçi EI, Akyüz S, Nurkalem Z. A case of Mobitz type II atrioventricular block due to Nerium oleander poisoning successfully managed with digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments. Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars 2015;43:648-50. View abstract.
  • Vallé B, Lairez O, Gandia P, et al. Circuitous diagnosis in concealed self-poisoning with Nerium oleander. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2012;50:228-9. View abstract.
  • Zamani J, Aslani A. Cardiac findings in acute yellow oleander poisoning. J Cardiovasc Dis Res 2010;1:27-8. View abstract.
  • Ada, S. E., Al Yahya, M. A., and Al Farhan, A. H. Acute toxicity of various oral doses of dried Nerium oleander leaves in sheep. Am J Chin Med 2001;29(3-4):525-532. View abstract.
  • Ahlawat, S. K., Agarwal, A. K., and Wadhwa, S. Rare poisoning with cerebra thevetia (yellow oleander): a report of three cases. Trop.Doct. 1994;24(1):37-38. View abstract.
  • Ansford, A. J. and Morris, H. Fatal oleander poisoning. Med J Aust. 4-4-1981;1(7):360-361. View abstract.
  • Apted, J. Oleander dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis 1983;9(4):321. View abstract.

Vitamins Survey

Have you ever purchased OLEANDER?

Did you or will you purchase this product in-store or online?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

What factors influenced or will influence your purchase? (check all that apply)

Vitamins Survey

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Do you buy vitamins online or instore?

What factors are most important to you? (check all that apply)

This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.Read More

More Resources for OLEANDER

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.