Discover the 12 amazing health benefits of neem leaves.
How to use Neem
Called “Sarva roga nivarini” or “that which cures all diseases”, the neem or nimbus tree occupies a prominent place in traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda.
If your presence in alternative remedies has caught your eye and you are curious to find out more, we have the truth.
After all, almost every part of this tree, from its bark to its seeds, leaves, and flowers, has something to offer.
Health Benefits of neem leaves
Here’s a closer look at all the amazing health benefits of neem leaves:
1. Contains anti-aging and protective antioxidants
Neem leaves contain powerful antioxidants like quercetin and nimbolide that can protect against the damaging effects of free radicals.
Harmful free radicals are known to damage DNA and have been implicated in conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
They also play a role in aging.
Neem-based supplements and remedies can help keep these free radicals at bay.
2. Lowers blood sugar level
It is estimated that around 440 million people around the world suffer from diabetes.
That is to say something even more worrying: the millions of adults who have prediabetes.
Neem may have the potential to treat what is becoming a global epidemic.
According to an animal study, the administration of neem leaf extract and neem seed oil was able to lower blood sugar.
Its effect was comparable to that of an antidiabetic drug called glibenclamide.
The study also found that when the animals were treated with the leaf extract or seed oil for 2 weeks before they were started with a chemical that induced diabetes, it helped reduce a rise in blood sugar.
3. Helps control blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase your risk for serious conditions like kidney failure and heart failure.
But neem can help you keep your blood pressure levels under control.
Animal studies show that neem leaf extracts can cause a drop in blood pressure.
One study even found that when animal subjects were given a neem leaf extract along with salt, they had much lower blood pressure than the salt-only control group.
So here you go – neem leaves could help protect you from high blood pressure.
4. Protects the liver
Your liver is a hard-working organ that works to remove toxins from the body.
But harmful chemicals and even some common medications can cause toxic liver damage.
This is where neem leaves can help.
For example, one study found that neem leaf extracts protect against liver damage caused by the drug acetaminophen, while another found that nimbolide, a bioactive component of neem leaves, counteracts the effects of the toxic chemical carbon tetrachloride.
So a little neem leaf juice might be just what your liver needs to keep fit.
5. Treat intestinal ulcers
Intestinal ulcers can leave you with burning pain and symptoms like indigestion and heartburn. But neem can help you if you suffer from this condition.
One study found that neem bark extract was able to decrease gastric acid secretion by 77% and almost completely heal duodenal ulcers.
A glycoside present in neem bark is believed to be primarily responsible for its antiulcer property and its ability to control gastric acid secretion.
6. Helps fight cancer
Traditional medicine has used neem to treat cancer for centuries.
And neem seed, flower, leaf, and fruit extracts have been found to have antitumor and chemopreventive effects on various types of cancer.
Components such as nimbolide and azadirachtin are believed responsible for many of neem’s cancer-fighting properties.
It can induce cell death, inhibit cell proliferation, and increase the immune response against tumor cells.
Interestingly, research shows that neem might also allow certain anticancer drugs to work more effectively.
Remember, however, that neem cannot replace conventional treatment options, but you can talk to your doctor about neem as an aid in the fight against cancer.
7. Fight dental plaque
Long before toothbrushes became the norm, some communities in Southeast Asia used to chew neem sticks to keep their teeth clean.
And it turns out that this ancient practice has scientific backing.
Neem stick extracts have been found to reduce the ability of some streptococci to colonize tooth surfaces.
Therefore, chewing neem sticks can help you control plaque and prevent cavities.
If that’s too exotic for your taste, try a toothpaste that contains neem extracts.
8. Fight fungal skin infections
Diluted neem oil has been used in Southeast Asia for centuries as a remedy for skin infections.
Its components such as nimbolide and gedunin have antifungal and antibacterial properties and can help clear an infection.
Neem leaf extracts have also been found to have antifungal properties against organisms that cause skin disorders such as Tinea versicolor.
A paste of the leaves can be used topically to treat skin infections.
9. Eliminate dandruff
Dandruff is an annoying problem that we have all had to reckon with.
But neem leaves may be the solution.
Research shows that neem leaf extract works against the Malassezia fungus that is associated with dandruff.
So, use this powerful remedy to get rid of white flakes and relieve itchy scalp.
10. Helps fight psoriasis
Psoriasis, an inflammatory disease of the skin often produces flaking, thick reddish lesions.
Neem leaves can also help treat this skin disorder. One study found that when people who were following a conventional regimen were given a neem leaf extract alongside, they showed a better and faster response than those given a placebo.
Although its exact action is unknown, the bioactive compounds in neem help to inhibit the accelerated production of skin cells in people with this condition.
Combine a conventional treatment like topical coal tar medications with extracts of neem leaves to increase their power.
Check the dosage with an alternative medical doctor.
11. Get rid of acne
Annoying pimples can ruin your peace of mind. But if you are battling acne, neem may be able to intervene.
Neem extract works against bacteria such as P. acne and S. epidermidis, which play a role in the development of acne.
12. Works as a mosquito repellent
Neem oil can be used as a natural mosquito repellent. One study found that applying neem oil diluted in 1-4% coconut oil offered 81-91% protection against malaria-transmitting anopheline mosquitoes.
Another study found that it also protected against the Aedes mosquito, which spreads dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and the Zika virus.
So if you are looking for a natural mosquito repellent, get one with neem oil.
You can also dilute a drop or two of neem oil in shea butter and use it on your skin after a patch test.
How to use Neem
Here’s how you can take advantage of neem’s many beneficial properties:
Neem Leaves: Traditionally, 2 to 4 grams of powdered neem leaf or 2 to 4 teaspoons (10-20 ml) of the neem leaf juice are consumed two to three times a day for therapeutic purposes.
The leaves are also ground into a paste with a little water and applied topically or added to bath water to treat skin conditions.
But neem leaves are also very bitter, so you may only be able to take a small amount of the paste or juice at a time, also after an allergy test.
Neem leaf extract capsules are readily available, but should only be taken under the guidance of an alternative medicine practitioner or with the okay of your physician.
Neem Bark: 30 to 60 mg of neem bark extract helps treat stomach ulcers.
But this will have to be confirmed by an alternative doctor after studying your case.
Neem sticks can be chewed to promote oral health.
Neem oil: Ointments with around 5% neem oil are typically used for skin infections, while 1 to 4% neem oil diluted in mustard or coconut oil works as an insect repellent.
Neem seed oil can have toxic effects, particularly for children, and should not be consumed except under medical supervision.
And remember to do a patch test before using neem oil topically, as some people may have an allergic reaction to it.
Neem Flowers: These are traditionally used in India to make watery lentil soups known as rasam or flower rice.
They can also be dry roasted and used to garnish dishes
We hope the article on the 12 Amazing health benefits of neem leaves has been of great help.