Common Name: Bestill Tree, Yellow Oleander, Lucky Nut
Family: Apocynaceae Juss.
Country of Origin: tropical America
Uses: Used in traditional medicine by trained professionals to treat a variety of maladies though the line between therapeutic and toxic is very narrow. Contains Thevetin, which is classified with the Digitalins, a compound that causes effects on heart muscle, heartbeat irregularities, and blood pressure elevation. It also pupil constiction, increased salivation and intestinal peristalsis. In some countries people consume the nut, which is highly toxic to commit suicide. It has shown antimicrobial effects in vitro studies. Traditional folkloric uses include to induce abortions, an emetic and the oil is used externally for skin maladies.