Neem’s traditional use is based on its detoxifying benefits that help maintain healthy circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. Neem is used for a wide variety of infectious problems, as an insect repellant, for heart disease, diabetes, and even as a birth control substance.Ayurvedic medicine considers neem to be especially effective as a medicated oil for the treatment of skin infections, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, and muscle aches. Its principle constituents are nimbin, nimbinin and nimbidin. All parts of the plant yield b-sitosterol. The highest concentrations of the active ingredients are found in the seed and oil, however the active ingredients are also found in lesser amounts in the bark and the leaves.
One of the most powerful blood purifiers and detoxifiers in Ayurvedic usage, neem is often used to maintain healthy skin. There is plenty of scientific backup for Neem’s immune enhancement properties as a booster of the macrophage’s effectiveness. Scientific studies indicate that neem boosts the immune system by energizing lymphocytes cells to respond to infection and other challenges to the body’s immunity.
Neem has proved effective against certain fungi that infect the human body. Such fungi are an increasing problem and have been difficult to control by synthetic fungicides. For example, in one laboratory study, Neem preparations showed toxicity to cultures of 14 common fungi:
- Trichophyton – an ‘athlete’s foot’ fungus that infects hair, skin and nails
- Epidermophyton – a ‘ringworm’ that invades both skin and nails of the feet
- Microsporum – a ‘ringworm’ that invades hair, skin and(rarely) nails
- Trichosporon – a fungus of the intestinal tract
- Geotrichum – a yeast like fungus that causes infections of the bronchi, lungs and mucous membranes
- Candida – a yeast-like fungus that is part of the normal flora but can get out of control, leading to lesions in mouth (thrush), vagina, skin, hands and lungs.
Neem can help with the following
Neem extracts reduce the concentration of acid in the stomach and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief from the effects of gastritis. Drink neem tea or ingest neem leaf powder as needed to protect the stomach and reduce discomfort.
General Detoxification Requirement
In a animal study, neem increased production of glutathione-s-transferase, improving the livers ability to detoxify itself of chemical contamination. If someone appears to have toxic accumulations but is quite debilitated, neem is used cautiously as it has a depleting effect on tissues.
Immune System Imbalance (TH2 Dominance)
Neem can help balance a TH2 dominant immune system. It is also an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial herb.
Periodontal Disease - Gingivitis
Throughout India and South East Asia millions of village people use Neem twigs and leaves to brush their teeth, and keep their gums free of disease and infection even though they have limited access to modern dental care. The ancient Ayurvedic practice of using Neem to heal and rejuvenate gum tissue and to prevent cavities and gum disease is verified in modern clinical studies. Studies showed that Neem bark is more active then the leaves against certain bacteria and that Neem based tooth pastes and mouth washes significantly improved Pyorrhea, at various stages, in 70 patients. In another study Neem toothpaste prevented and even reversed gingivitis.
Scabies / Mites
Indian researcher S. X. Charles, Ph.D. treated 814 people with scabies. He made a paste with four parts fresh neem leaves and one part turmeric root. The people in his study rubbed it all over themselves daily. Nearly 800 showed substantial improvement within three to five days and were completely cured within two weeks. You can buy skin-care products containing neem at some health food stores. Just mix in several teaspoons of turmeric and apply it to the affected areas.
Neem oil can be rubbed directly on the skin and can be used in a bath of warm water. Add a couple of tablespoons of Neem oil to the tub and swish it around. Then, set a timer for twenty minutes and soak in this natural healing agent. It will relieve the itching and burning caused by scabies.
In the case of eczema, clinical studies demonstrate that even the application of weaker Neem leaf extracts effectively cured acute conditions of eczema. Using a soap or shampoo containing Neem oil can easily relieve the itching and redness of eczema. For specific areas of need on your skin apply Neem cream after bathing and/or shampooing with Neem oil products.
Sheryll Zenganeh, the publisher of “Empress Press”, a national newsletter for people with psoriasis and other serious skin conditions, has promoted the effectiveness of Neem. Sheryll suffered from psoriasis for seventeen years before she came in contact with neem. She stated in her newsletter that “today, thanks to the Neem tree and the products from NeemAura Naturals, my psoriasis is virtually gone and I now has soft, supple, youthful, gorgeous skin.”
In clinical studies, neem extracts and oil were found to be as effective as coal tar and cortisone in treating psoriasis. However, there were none of the usual side effects accompanying the use of neem as there were with Coal tar and cortisone. When applied to the skin, Neem extracts and oil removed the redness and itching while improving the condition of the skin for the duration of the treatment.
Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues
Due to its contraceptive and possible abortion promoting properties, neem should be avoided in woman of childbearing years who are or may want to become pregnant.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
|Reasonably likely to cause problems|
A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.
Type of alternative medicine in which diet and therapies, such as herbal inhalation and massage, are dictated by individual's body type; 4,000 year-old traditional Indian system believed to be helpful to those suffering insomnia, hypertension and digestive problems.
A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.
The membranes, such as the mouse, nose, anus, and vagina, that line the cavities and canals of the body which communicate with the air.
Infection of the skin or mucous membrane with any species of candida, usually Candida albicans. The infection is usually localized to the skin, nails, mouth, vagina, bronchi, or lungs, but may invade the bloodstream. It is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, only becoming a problem when it multiplies excessively and invades local tissues. Growth is encouraged by a weakened immune system, as in AIDS, or with the prolonged administration of antibiotics. Vaginal symptoms include itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, and a thick odorless vaginal discharge.
A fungal infection from Candida Albicans. Occurs most often in infants, immunocompromised patients, and AIDS victims. Characterized by small whitish sports on the tongue and inside of the cheeks.