Oleander flowers

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Two Kerala government-controlled temple boards have banned use of oleander in temple offerings after a 24-year old woman died after accidentally chewing some oleander leaves.

About Oleander flowers:

  • Nerium oleander, commonly known as oleander or rosebay, is a plant cultivated worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions.
  • It is 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.
  • There are different varieties of oleander, each with a flower of a different colour.
  • The plant has been frequently described in Brihattrayi, Nighantus and other classical Ayurvedic texts.
  • Charka [Charak Samhita] has prescribed the leaves of white flowered variety externally in chronic and obstinate skin diseases of serious nature including leprosy.
  • According to Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) an oil prepared from the root bark can be used to treat skin diseases.

Oleander’s toxicity

  • Ingestion or inhalation of smoke from burning oleander can be intoxicating.
  • This is 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.

Q1: What is the characteristic of temperate climates?

 These are characterized by relatively moderate mean annual temperatures, with average monthly temperatures above 10°C in their warmest months and above −3°C in their colder months.

Source: Why Kerala has banned oleander flowers in temple offerings