Nerium oleander L. (= Nerium indicum Mill.; Nerium odorum Soland.)

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341 : 13-14

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Nerium oleander L. (= Nerium indicum Mill.; Nerium odorum Soland.)


Nerium oleander L. (= Nerium indicum Mill.; Nerium odorum Soland.)


Myanmar: nwei thargi. English: oleander, rose of Sharon.


From Mediterranean to the Arabian Peninsula, Ethiopia, Niger, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq to India and central China. Found all over Myanmar; naturalized, also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Conservation status.

Least Concern [LC] ( IUCN 2017).


This plant is poisonous if ingested; it can be applied externally only.

Leaf: Powder from pulverized leaves used for ringworm, itchy skin, and other external inflammations; alternatively, the boiled water extract of leaves is used to alleviate inflammation. Liquid from crushed leaves is applied to snakebites to neutralize the venom, as well as to bites or stings from other venomous animals. Root: The root powder is applied to the skin to alleviate headache and neutralize poisons from scorpion and snakebites. Mixed with water, the root powder is applied as an ointment for skin cancer, ringworm and other fungal conditions, earache, infected lesions, and leprosy.


Medicinal use of this species in China is discussed by Duke and Ayensu (1985).

In India the leaf is used as a cardiotonic and oil from the root bark is employed for skin diseases ( Jain and DeFilipps 1991).

The bark contains glycosides with digitalis-like activity ( Jain and DeFilipps 1991). N. indicum bark extract has activity against the snail vector, Lymnaea acuminata , of the parasitic flukes Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantic ( Singh and Singh 1998), as well as antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex ( Rajbhandari et al. 2001).


Nordal (1963), Agricultural Corporation (1980).