Karavira, Indian Oleander (Nerium indicum)

Large glabrous evergreen shrub with white latex, karavira. Based on the color of the blossoms, Karavira comes in a variety of forms, including Red, Yellow, White, and others. This plant has thick, lengthy leaves. White flowers have leaves that are light green in hue, whereas red blooms have leaves that are dark green. They have a width of 1-3 cm and a length of roughly 17 cm. Red and white fruits are longer, measuring 4 to 6 inches in length, and have numerous seeds. Round and either light red (unripe) or grey (ripened), the fruit of the yellow type bears two seeds that have a light yellow tint. It is lethal. This herbal plant has a densely branching root structure. The roots are brownish in hue and have lengthy uneven stripes. The stem is branching and whitish or bluish-green in hue, with similar sorts of streaks on the bark surface. The bark is silky and silvery grey-white in tone.

General Description

Despite being toxic, the medicinal plant Karavira has been proven to have Ayurvedic applications. Insect bites from poisonous species point to its external use. This is used in Ayurveda to treat skin conditions, cardiac insufficiency, and functioning abnormalities of the heart. Glycosides are present in the stems, leaves, and flowers of Karavira.

The cardioactive glycosides found in leaves include oleandrin, neriodin, and adynerin, as well as additional cardiotonic compounds such -D-diginoside, ursolic acid, and a substance related to rutin.

The neriodorin, nerioderin, karabin, odorin, and other cardioactive glycosides are found in the roots, bark, and seeds. According to reports, the root-bark contains acetophenones with 4- and 2, 4-hydroxyl groups such as -amyrin, -sitosterol, kaempferol, and odoroside B.


Kingdom: Plantae

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta

Superdivision: Spermatophyta

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Subclass: Asteridae

Order: Gentianales

Family: Apocynaceae

Genus: Nerium

Species: Indicum


In India, this herbal plant is typically grown as an attractive shrub in gardens. It grows up to 1,950 meters high in the Himalayas from Nepal to Kashmir, as well as in the upper Gangetic plain and Madhya Pradesh. South India, China, Japan, Baluchistan, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab are also home to this species.

In Southern India, it grows among fences and is found by the sides of roads. God is worshipped using its blooms.


Hindi Name - Kaner, Kanail

Telugu Name- Erra Ganneru, Jannerat

English Name - Indian Oleander

Punjabi - Kanir

Bengali Name - Karavi

Marathi Name - Kanher

Kannada - Kanagilu, Kharjahar, Kanigale, Kanagile

Assamese - Diflee, Sammulhimar

Gujarati Name - Kaner, Karena

Tamil Name - Alari

Urdu Name - Kaner

China Name - Kiah chuh-au

Arabian Name - Sammul hibar

Farsi name - Kharjahara

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Katu, Tikta

Pungent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Rooksha

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It balances Kapha and Vata.

Classical Categorization

Charaka Samhita

Sushrut Samhita


  • Kusthaghna - a group of plants used to treat skin conditions
  • Tiktaskandha - a group of herbs with a bitter flavor
  • Laksadi
  • Sirovirecana
  • Laksadi

Medicinal Properties

Nerium indicum has a wide range of therapeutic benefits, including being bitter, astringent, emetic, expectorant, cardiac tonic, anthelmintic, adaptogenic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory.

Snake bites, ulcers, cardiac disease, asthma, renal and vesicle calculi, chronic stomach ailments, skin-related issues, joint pains, leprosy, cancer, etc. can all be effectively treated with it.

Practical Uses

  • It can induce abortion by acting as an abortifacient.
  • It is effective at reducing pain.
  • Additionally, it aids in the treatment or prevention of cancer.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It functions as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent as well.
  • Being an effective antiulcer, it also offers comfort.
  • Because it can lower heart rate, it has a bradycardic effect.
  • As a CNS Depressant, it has actions that reduce mental activity.
  • It can cause vomiting, which is necessary in some circumstances.
  • It is an Emmenagogue, meaning that it can stimulate or enhance menstrual flow.
  • It works well as a fungicide, insecticide, larvicide, parasiticide, and rodenticide.

Part Used

Root/ root bark


Powder: The maximum dose is 30-125 mg per day.


  • This herb should not be used without a doctor's advice since it is hazardous to the heart.
  • Keep this herb out of sight and reach of youngsters since it is not safe for them.
  • It is not suitable for use on the skin or on pregnant or nursing women.
  • Ingestion by accident might cause serious poisoning symptoms.

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