Oleandrin, touted as a COVID-19 cure, has no scientific support

The extract from a highly toxic plant is being promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, despite no scientific evidence that it is effective in treating or preventing COVID-19. Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass explains why that's so dangerous.

Video Transcript


DARA KASS: Recently, you may have heard about this drug oleandrin as a potential cure for this coronavirus. So we wanted to explain a little bit about why it's so dangerous for anyone to consider using this drug as a treatment or a cure for the coronavirus.

ANDERSON COOPER: How are you different than a snake oil salesman? You have no medical background. There is no evidence of this. It hasn't been tested in animals or humans.

MIKE LINDELL: You know what, Anderson? I've done my due diligence. I think my platform stands by itself, the platform that God gave me of integrity and trust.

DARA KASS: What is oleandrin? Well, it is an extract from the oleander plant. But just because something grows in nature does not make it safe. If you take this plants and take it so that you are overdosed, you may have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, and heart arrhythmias. When those heart arrhythmias get bad, you might even start to pass out. And unfortunately, when those arrhythmias get so bad, they can kill you.

Right now, there are no medical indications to ever take the oleander plant. So looking at one study that has not been peer reviewed in an experiment in a Petri dish, this toxin was shown to inhibit the coronavirus. Unfortunately, humans are not Petri dishes. In the quest for treatments and cures for this coronavirus, we might try a lot of ideas. And probably, that's what these scientists were doing. They were trying an idea that they never expected would get into the hands of people looking for a quick fix or cure for this coronavirus.

A lot of people have been asking me if they find out there's a new medication, something that's over the counter, comes from a plant, doesn't sound so dangerous, should they just take it just in case? What do they have to lose? When you have a question about a medication, whether it needs a prescription or not, whether it comes from a plant or not, you need to ask your doctor. You need to look to scientists. If somebody goes on TV and tells you they have the answer, something that's been missed by all the scientists and all the doctors, you have to ask yourself what is their motive. When you find out they have a financial interest in you taking a medication that hasn't been proved by science, my best advice is to just walk away.