May 30, 2024

Oleander Flower

Kerala has banned Oleander flowers in temple offerings.

  • Two Kerala government-controlled temple boards, which together manage 2,500-odd temples in the state have banned use of oleander flowers (locally known as Arali) in temple offerings after a 24-year-old woman died after accidentally chewing some oleander leaves.

WHAT IS OLEANDER

  • Nerium oleander also known as oleander or rosebay is a plant cultivated worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions.
  • Known for its drought tolerance, the shrub is often used for ornamental and landscaping purposes.
  • In Kerala, the plant is known by the names of Arali and Kanaveeram, and is grown along highways and beaches as a natural, green fencing.
  • It is harmful due to the properties of cardiac glycosides (a type of chemical) including oleandrin, folinerin, and digitoxigenin, which are present in all parts of the plant.
  • Effects of oleander toxicity include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, confusion, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, slow heartbeat, and, in extreme cases, death.

USES

  • Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API), a government document describes the quality, purity, and strength of drugs used in Ayurveda.
  • According to API, an oil prepared from the root bark can be used to treat skin diseases.
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