Philippine Herbal Medicine


10 DOH Herbs
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Adelfa (Nerium oleander)

Oleander (Nerium oleander) shrub used as herbal medicine

Adelfa is an evergreen shrub that grows from 6 to 20 feet in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide including the Philippines. Its flowers may range in color from white, pink, red and any shade between them. Adelfa is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of ulcers, ringworms, leprosy, eczema, hemorrhoids, herpes simplex and herpes zoster (skin shingles). It is also effective as skin insect repellant.


Adelfa/Nerium oreander is also is being promoted to treat cancer, heart failure and even AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). However, its effectiveness have not yet been proven to treat these ailments. For cancer treatment, initial testing is promising. Test show that oleandrin, an ingredient of adelfa leaves, causes the death of some cancer cells. Further research is however needed.


Warning: Extracts from leaves, flowers, bark, stems and roots of Adelfa (Nerium oreander) is toxic to humans and animals when taken internally and may even cause death. Adelfa can also cause abortion if taken orally, even in small amounts. Consult with a health care provider before starting any treatment using any plant part or extract of this poisonous shrub.

Preparation & Use of Adelfa/Nerium oreander in traditional medicine:


For herpes zoster: Mix crushed leaves and oil, then apply on lesions on the surface of the skin. Do not apply when skin has eruptions.
Herpes simplex and eczema: Blend chopped adelfa leaves and bark with some oil and apply directly to lesions, 3 times a day.
Snake bites: make a poultice of finely ground leaves and branch of adelfa. Apply directly on wound and cover with cloth or gauze. Secure with surgical tape.
Ringworms: Make a paste using crushed and finely chopped bark of the root and a little coconut oil. Apply on skin 3 times a day.
For Hemorrhoids, crush roots and make a paste by adding a little water, then apply.
Roots and bark used externally for , snake bites and as insecticide.
Tumors: Apply fresh leaves directly to tumors to accelerate suppuration.


Other Herbal & Non-Herbal Medicine: Philippine Plants, Fruits & Trees

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