Karavira (करवीर) – Oleander – Static/Plant Poison (Stavara visha) | Live veda


Karavira (करवीर)

Karavira belongs to Apocynaceae family. This is mainly cardiac poison and it is mainly of two types

i) Nerium odorum ( White Oleander - श्वेत करवीर)

ii) Thevetia nerifolia ( Yellow Oleander - पीत करवीर)

Nerium odorum is commonly seen in India, Leaves are long and pointed, while flowers are white or pink and arranged in clusters, all the parts of plants are toxic, particularly the seeds, stem and root.

Yellow Oleander is a large, ornamental shrub with oblong leaves and clusters of orange or yellow tubular flowers. All parts of plants are toxic, especially the leaves and fruits.

Synonyms - कनेर, अश्वमर, अश्वान्तक, अश्वध्न, चण्डातक, करावी etc.

Active principles -

i) Nerium odorum ( White Oleander - श्वेत करवीर) 

A) Oleandrin
B) Nerlin
C) Folinerin
D) Rosagenin
ii) Thevetia nerifolia ( Yellow Oleander - पीत करवीर)
A) Theventine
B) Cerberin
Signs and Symptoms 
1. Nausea, vomiting and Diarrhea
2. Tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, AV block, Death usually results from cardiac failure.
3. Burning pain in the mouth, esophagus and stomach followed by dryness, a sensation of tingling and numbness of the tongue.
4. Headache, dizziness and sense of fainting.
5. Convulsions may precede death.
Fatal dose - Leaves - 5 to 15
                           Seeds - 8 to 10
                           Root - 15 gms
Fatal Period - Usually dies with in 24 hours
Treatment - 
A) According to Modern -
i) Decontamination, Gastric Lavage
ii) ECG Monitoring.
iii) Sodium molar lactate transfusion with glucose 1mg. atropine,  two c.c. adrenaline and 2 mg. noradrenaline is beneficial for the correction of cardio-vascular abnormalities.
iv) Correction of fluid and electrolyte balance.
B) According to Ayurveda -
Buffalow curd mixed with sugar or Buffalow milk or powder of arkatvaka ( Karira Tvak) mixed with water if consumed orally it cures all poisonous effects of Karavira.
Postmortem Appearances-
There are no specific signs. Mucosa of the GI tract is usually congested, and petechiae are often seen on the heart. Nerium resists putrefaction and even burning, and can be detected long after death.
Medico-Legal Importance -
1. Because of the easy availability of this poison especially, in rural areas, it is very often encountered in India as in suicidal agent. Usually a decoction of the root is prepared and consumed.
2. The plant is used as abortifacient.
3. As homicidal poison.
4. As cattle poison.

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