New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Kerala bans Oleander Flowers in Temple Offerings


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Oleander Flowers

Why in the news?

Kerala temple authorities have banned the use of oleander flowers in offerings following the accidental poisoning of a woman who chewed oleander leaves.

What is Oleander?

  • Nerium oleander, commonly 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, it’s called arali or kanaveeram and is used for natural fencing along highways and beaches.
  • According to the IUCN Red List, Nerium oleander (Oleander) is classified as Least Concern

Traditional Medicinal Uses:

  • Termed as “desert rose” in ancient texts, oleander has been trusted with its medicinal properties such as a hangover cure, in cancer treatments, and as an antiviral.
  • The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India mentions oleander, particularly the use of oil from the root bark to treat skin diseases.
  • oleander’s use in treating skin diseases, leprosy, wounds, itching, and parasites.

Toxicity of Oleander:

  • Oleander is highly toxic due to cardiac glycosides present in all parts of the plant.
  • Cardiac glycosides like oleandrin and digitoxigenin exert pharmacological effects on the heart, leading to nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and, in severe cases, death..


[2018] Why is a plant called Prosopis Juliflora often mentioned in the news?

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grow

(c) Its extract is used in the synthesis of pesticides

(d) None of the above

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