Oleander tea: herbal draught of death

Ann Emerg Med. 1985 Apr;14(4):350-3. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(85)80103-7.


A woman died after drinking herbal tea prepared from oleander (Nerium oleander) leaves. This case demonstrates the cross-reactivity between the cardiac glycosides in oleander and the digoxin radioimmunoassay. Digoxin-specific Fab antibody fragments have not been used in oleander poisoning, but these might prove to be lifesaving. Treatment of oleander toxicity is aimed at controlling arrhythmias and hyperkalemia; inactivation of the Na-K ATPase pump, however, can make treatment difficult.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages / poisoning*
  • Cardiac Glycosides / blood
  • Cardiac Glycosides / poisoning
  • Cross Reactions
  • Digoxin / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Plant Poisoning / etiology*
  • Plant Poisoning / therapy
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Cardiac Glycosides
  • Digoxin