Oleander leaf (Oleandri folium)

Published July 6, 1988; Revised March 2, 1989, and February 1, 1990.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Oleandri folium, oleander leaf.

Composition of Drug

Oleander leaf consists of the leaves of Nerium oleander L. [Fam. Apocynaceae], as well as preparations thereof.


Oleander leaf is used for diseases and functional disorders of the heart, as well as for skin diseases. The effectiveness for the claimed applications is not sufficiently proven.


Accidental intake of parts of Oleander leaf and the consumption of Oleander leaf tea led to poisonings, sometimes with fatal outcome.


Adequate data for the effectiveness, as well as pharmacokinetics and kinetics of efficacy of oleander leaf preparations, are not available.

A correlation is not given for the chemically determined amount of oleandrin and the biological efficacy of the herb. An indication concerning applications and required dosage is, therefore, not possible.

Since the effectiveness of Oleander leaf preparations is not adequately documented, and considering that there is no correlation between the content of individual glycosides and the efficacy of the herb, a therapeutic administration of oleander leaf is not justifiable.

Note: Benefit and risk of fixed combinations of [herbs containing] cardiac glycosides must be documented and examined specifically for each preparation.


Positively inotropic
Negatively chronotropic.