Q:

What is oleander extract?

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Quick Answer

Oleander extract comes from the poisonous Nerium oleander plant of the dogbane family Apocynaceae. The Babylonians and ancient Greeks appreciated its healing benefits, using it to treating ailments from hangovers to cancer. Oleander is a common garden plant found around the world, including in the southern United States.

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Full Answer

Oleander extract has been used to treat heart failure in China and Russia. Human research on this treatment began in 1930 but was aborted because of gastrointestinal and heart toxicity. When heavily diluted, oleander may also be used to boost the immune function in cancer patients by inhibiting angiogenesis, inhibiting NF-kB factor in cancer cells and causing apoptosis, or natural cell death, in cancer cells.

Scientists are researching the healing of muscle cramps, asthma, epilepsy, paralysis, eczema, HIV and normalizing blood sugar levels using oleander extract. The extract should be consumed with the guidance of a trained herbalist or doctor and should never be eaten raw, because it can be fatal.

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