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History of the Oleander Plant

In the Bible, the oleander plant is referred to as "the desert rose". Perhaps the name given this remarkable plant was no coincidence...

(Excerpted from the author's book "Cancer's Natural Enemy")

As those of you who are fans of Dan Brown's "The Davinci Code" or otherwise know a bit about pagan and early Christian religion already know, 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.

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".

In recent centuries, oleander has continued to be used in folk remedies and in commercial preparations in the Middle East, Russia, China and the South American rain forest.

Currently, a Brazilian manufacturer is distributing an amazing supplement called OPC Extract worldwide, and the formula includes oleander extract already added into the OPC. So effective is OPC that the government of South Africa has approved and endorsed its use for treatment of the HIV epidemic in that country. Dozens of universities and institutions in South Africa are joining together to treat many thousands of indigent HIV and cancer patients. The initial reports of success are heartwarming to all!

If oleander plants are not readily available in the area in which you live, you can order them online from many nurseries. One warning however, it is a very common practice for nurseries to spray their plants with insecticides and I simply don't trust any non-organic non-natural pesticides.

The best bet, if you can't otherwise locate wild or domestic oleander plants, is to find an organic nursery where the plants have been grown free of pesticides for several weeks, such as Rohdes, right in my own backyard, so to speak. If you do order your oleander plants from a non-organic nursery, and I do NOT recommend doing that, you should care for the oleander plants with plenty of distilled water and organic fertilizer for several days or longer and frequently wash the leaves and stems several times before and after harvesting.

For those of you who may be uncomfortable with the idea of making your own home supplement, information on how to obtain the patented oleander extract Anvirzel and the OPC supplement is included on the final page of this book. For the rest of you: Happy cooking to all - live long, live healthy and live happy!

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health researcher and author of books and articles about natural health, as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life, a website for baby boomer's and others wishing to live longer, healthier, and happier.

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