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A Brief History of the Oleander Plant
Part 3 of The Oleander Article Series
by Tony M. Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) In the Bible, the oleander plant is referred to as "the desert rose". Perhaps the name given this remarkable plant was no coincidence. Those of you who have read Dan Brown's entertaining combination of fact and fiction, "The Davinci Code", or who otherwise know a bit about pagan and early Christian religion will know that the rose is one of the most powerful of all religious symbols in pagan and early Christian religion and literature. It stands quite literally for nothing less than the feminine half of God, or the Goddess as that entity was called. It was also a symbol for very powerful healing.
Medicinal use of the oleander plant dates back at least 3500 years. Historical records show that the Mesopotamians in the 15th century BC believed in the healing properties of oleander. The Babylonians used a mixture of oleander and licorice to treat hangovers. Roman soldiers also regularly took an oleander extract for hangovers. Pliny, the Elder of ancient Greece, wrote about the appearance and properties of oleander. Arab physicians first used oleander as a cancer treatment in the 8th century AD.
Centuries later, in the 1633 edition of "The Herbal, or General History of
Plants", the author John Gerard says of oleander: "This tree being outwardly
applied, as Galen saith, hath a digesting faculty; but if it be inwardly taken
it is deadly and poisonsome, not only to men, but also to most kinds of beasts.
The flowers and leaves kill dogs, asses, mules, and very many of other four
footed beasts: but if men drink them in wine they are a remedy against the
bitings of Serpents, and the rather if Rue be added. The weaker sort of cattle,
as sheep and goats, if they drink the water wherein the leaves have been
steeped, are sure to die." which indicates knowledge that the raw plant is
poisonous, but that extracts of the plant were used medicinally. And, an
oleander extract much like oleander soup is most likely the magic healing potion
that led to the witchcraft accusation against Rebecca, the beautiful Jewish
woman from the Holy Land, in Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe".
Although much of the recent focus on oleander has centered on cancer, HIV, and hepatitis-C, uses based on tradition or theory have included:
Abnormal menstruation, alcoholism, anorexia, anti-fertility, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, asthma, bacterial infections, cachexia (weight loss/wasting from some diseases), cardiac abnormalities, cathartic, corns, diuretic (increase urine flow), epilepsy (seizure), eye diseases, heart disease, hemorrhoids, indigestion, inflammation, insecticide, leprosy, malaria, menstrual stimulant, neurologic disorders, pregnancy termination, psoriasis, psychiatric disorders, rat poison, ringworm, sinus problems, snake bites, skin diseases, skin eruptions, swelling, venereal disease, vomiting, warts, weight gain.
(Source: MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-oleander.html )
Thanks to a Texas attorney, the
aforementioned Marc Swanepoel and perhaps a bit of help from others like your
humble author, a growing number of people around the world are now able to make
their own oleander remedy or take relatively inexpensive oleander-based
supplements made to exacting standards by pharmaceutical and herbal
Additional Background Information (an excerpt from "History of the Oleander in America... By Way of Galveston"):
(To read the complete article go tohttp://oleander.org/history.html . And, for a marvelously detailed article about the world history of the oleander plant, go to http://www.oleander.org/fromwhence.html )
Excerpted from the author's book "Cancer's Natural Enemy".
Be sure to read the entire Oleander Series of articles:
See more natural health articles Here.
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See more natural health articles Here.