Medicinal Uses of Neem
The benefits of neem are exceptionally exceptional to the human body as well as to the environment. How? Let’s find out!
Brief about Neem
The scientific name of neem is Azadirachta indica and it is also commonly known as Indian lilac and it is extensively grown, found and used in India and its native countries and as well as it is found in parts of Africa, the Caribbean countries and South and Central America.
There are around more than 25 million neem trees in India. The benefits of neem are so vital that it has been used for more than 4,000 years in the Indian Ayurvedic System or Traditional Indian Medicine System.
Neem is derived from the sanskrit word “Nimba” which comes from the term “Nimbati Syasthyamdadati” which means “to give good health”.
It is also renowned as “Village Pharmacy/Dispensary” because of the fact that it is easily available, easy to grow as it does not need much care, highly versatile as all the parts of neem tree has incredible medicinal utilisation and has a long life (The neem tree lives around 150-200 years).
Mind Boggling Facts about Neem
(1) The United Nations has given the title of “Tree of the 21st century” to the neem tree.
(2) In vedas, neem is mentioned as “Sarwa Roga Niwarini” which means “one that cures all ailments and ills”.
(3) Neem is called “Arista” in sanskrit which means “complete, perfect, imperishable and reliever of sickness”.
Amazing Benefits of Neem to the human body
1. Benefits of Neem for Skin
The cosmetic industry thrives on a few items and one of them is neem. Have you ever wondered why? Neem has many active compounds which have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties which studies have shown has an immense effect on improving skin quality and helps to cure acne, dark spots and other skin related issues.
Consuming neem in oral form (Please do read the contraindications given at the bottom) as well as applying it on the affected area of skin, together it does wonders.
A 4 week clinical study was conducted in which out of 120 study subjects, 79% and 72% showed either reduction or no new appearance of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions due to the application of neem face wash, respectively.
2. Benefits of Neem for Hair
Neem also has compounds which are highly rich in anti-parasitic properties which helps in tackling hair issues such as premature greying of hair, dandruff, lice, etc. Oral intake of neem (Please do read the contraindications given at the bottom) and also applying neem over hair, collectively produces remarkable results. 10 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of Amla
3. Benefits of Neem for Oral Hygiene
It is a very traditional practice in India to use datun, i.e., to chew neem twigs which is like an ancient time toothbrush.
Ancients were aware about the fact that neem has compounds which are anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic and possess anti-gingivitis properties which helps to maintain oral hygiene and dental health.
Reasearch published in the journals like, Pharmacognosy Review, Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences and other publications, have indicated that regular brushing with neem-containing toothpaste reduces the deposition of plaque, prevents carries, gingivitis inflammation and enhances the immune response for overall oral health.
4. Antidiabetic Potential
The antidiabetic effect of neem is massively strong and has been proven by multiple global studies. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (J-AIMS) tested the effect of neem in diabetic rats and they showed impaired glucose tolerance and impairment in insulin signaling molecules.
Moreover, neem normalized the altered levels of blood glucose, serum insulin and played a significant role in the management of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Also a research published in the journal, Bioinformation showed that the neem tree parts (Leaf and seeds) have high efficacy in treating the Type-2 Diabetes.
5. Anticarcinogenic Effect
Neem possesses anticancer property which helps to prevent various kinds of cancer. A research published in the journal, Biochima et Biophysica Acta (BBA) reported that neem consumption inhibits cancer cell proliferation and also it exerts anticancer effect by induction of apoptosis as well as autophagy.
Moreover, it also reported that neem has high potential to enhance the efficacy of other chemotherapeutic agents or as adjuvant immunotherapy and radiotherapy with no or minimal side-effects.
6. Other Potential Benefits
(1) Neem promotes liver and kidney health which we often neglect when it comes to overall fitness. Neem has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which reduces oxidative stress which is responsible for hampering liver and kidney.
If you are inclined to know how to improve lung health as well, I recommend going through this blog How to improve Lung Health?
(3) Neem is a great cure for viral diseases such as chicken pox, small pox, measles, etc.
(4) Neem helps in curing intestinal ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the inflammation response.
If you want to become a healthy person in and out , you should also focus on your surroundings which contributes a lot to your overall physical, mental and spiritual health. So, let’s take a look at what benefits do neem serve to the environment in which we live in!
Benefits of neem to the Environment
1. Eco-friendly Fertilizer
Neem is used in manures, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides not only because of its anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and insecticidal properties but also because it is extremely rich in nitrogen which makes it perfect for such utility and moreover, it does not even degrade the soil quality.
2. Air Purifier
It is always suggested to plant more and more neem trees because it is considered among one of the top air purifying trees in the world because its rate of photosynthesis is immensely high because of it produces a lot of oxygen.
Neem because of its amazing properties helps to preserve stored grains like pulses, wheat, etc., from insects and is also used as a natural mosquito repellent.
Side Effects of Neem
Though neem is possibly safe for most individuals if taken for a considerable amount of time within limit. However, neem consumption in some individuals may lead to following issues:
- Blood disorders
- Encephalopathy (Brain Disorder)
[NOTE:- Do not get intimidated by the above mentioned side-effects of neem, because it is seen in extremely rare individuals and also it mostly happens because of long-term excessive dosage of neem. So, consume it in limit.]
How much neem is safe to take?
How many neem leaves to take daily?
Ans. You can consume 4-5 neem leaves daily.
How many neem tablets per day?
Ans. 1-2 neem tablets on daily basis is sufficient for most individuals.
How much neem juice should I take daily?
Ans. A great thumb rule is to have 30-60 ml or 2-4 tsp of neem juice diluted/mixed in water. Consuming it in empty stomach ensures better absorption.
How much neem powder to take daily?
Ans. Most people can have 1/2-1/4 tsp of neem powder on daily basis.
How long can I take neem?
Ans. An ideal and safe duration would be to consume neem for 2-3 months at a stretch and then take a break of at least 1 month and if you wish, you can restart the consumption of neem again after the break.
Does neem kill sperm?
The often asked question which males have a lot of concern with, Does long-term neem consumption reduces the sperm count?The answer is yes, it does lower the sperm count if oral intake is excessive because of its spermicidal properties.
But studies have explicitly proven that neither it has any sort of permanent effect on the sperm count, the moment you will stop the intake of neem, your sperm count will again go back to normal in matter of few weeks and nor it affects your libido, erection rate and sexual life/health.
[NOTE:-If you are orally consuming neem for a short period of time, then it is anyway not going to affect your sperm count, while rendering all its benefits.]
Forms of neem consumption
1. Neem oil-Applied on hair and skin.
2. Neem juice, neem tablets and neem powder are its oral forms of consumption.
3. Neem water, which is derived by boiling the neem into the water is also used for bathing purposes and washing the fruits and vegetables.
Who should not take neem?
Despite of neem possessing such brilliant properties, there are still some exceptional cases in which a person should strictly avoid the oral consumption of it and those are:
(1) Infants or kids (2) Pregnant women
(3) People suffering with auto-immune diseases like arthritis, diabetes, etc., should definitely consult a doctor before taking it.
(4) People who have undergone or will undergo surgery or organ transplant.
(5) People with infertility or low sperm count.
Consuming neem on regular basis, especially in oral form, significantly improves the health status of an individual. Despite of neem having such immense benefits, there are some precautions and side-effects which one should be aware of before using it.