neem benefits & uses General Health/Immunity
Neem: Medicinal Properties, Benefits and Methods of Use
MARCH 24, 2023

About Neem

Neem or 'Indian Lilac' is a versatile tree that flourishes in the tropical region of India, brimming with a huge medicinal potential and various health benefits.

In Sanskrit, Neem is referred to as 'arista', meaning complete and imperishable. The popularity of neem trees has spread far and wide across the globe. Interestingly, this wonder tree has been named 'Azad- Darakht- E- Hind' by the Persians, meaning Free Tree of India.

With incredible potential in medicine, pest management, and environmental welfare, Neem contains various bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Neem holds an important place in Ayurveda because each one of its parts is useful in one way or the other, from purifying the blood to treating skin concerns and much more.

Significance of Neem

Thanks to the various medicinal properties of neem, it is one of the most significant and highly revered tree species in India. Neem tree bears fruits and flowers that are used in treating skin conditions, whereas the leaves, bark, and twigs are used for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities.

Since Neem has medicinal, agricultural, environmental, and cultural significance, it's fair to say that Neem is foundational to the wide recognition of the Indian medicine system. Additionally, neem derivatives are used as natural pesticides and insecticides in agricultural fields and households to ward off mild-to-severe infestations.

Neem is also beneficial on an ecological scale, as it helps curb air pollution, improve soil health and allow life-sustaining fauna to thrive. Plus, Neem is considered sacred in certain communities of India. It is often planted in the vicinity of Hindu temples to clean the air and create a positive atmosphere conducive to rituals.

Owing to several benefits of neem and cultural significance, it has been part of the Ayurveda tradition for over 4000 years.

Properties of Neem

The Neem tree (Azadirachta Indica) has a long list of properties that make it an invaluable green treasure. Let's look at some of the prominent properties of Neem:

  • Antimicrobial: Neem has antimicrobial properties, which means it can kill or inhibit the growth of pathogens that are harmful to us.
  • Antifungal: Neem's antifungal properties make it highly effective against ringworm, athlete's foot, and nail infections.
  • Anti-inflammatory & Analgesic: Neem's anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Antipyretic: Neem can help manage fever symptoms and prevent extreme temperature spikes, thanks to its antipyretic properties.
  • Antioxidant: Neem is a rich source of antioxidants, protecting the body from the adverse effects of free radicals.
  • Insecticidal: Neem is highly effective against a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes, flies, and mites.
  • Nematicidal: Neem has nematicidal properties, making it effective against various nematodes (roundworms) that cause plant diseases.
  • Anti-diabetic: Neem is known to possess anti-diabetic properties, helping manage blood sugar levels and may encourage insulin production.
  • Anti-dermatic: Neem leaves, flowers, and fruits can help treat a myriad of skin conditions.

Benefits of Neem

Neem For Skin

benefits of neem for skin

Neem possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, making it an incredible remedy for treating various skin conditions. Teenagers and adults alike rely on neem for acne relief and managing skin inflammation. Also, using neem for skin whitening may give you visible results in a couple of months while protecting against pollution and UV rays.

Furthermore, Neem oil has essential fatty acids and vitamins with anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effects for retaining skin elasticity and a youthful glow.

For optimum results, you can rely on herbal supplements, such as Mahathikthaka Ghritham, which is a poly-herbal medicine for treating skin issues and improving overall health.

Neem For Hair

benefits of neem for hair

Neem is a natural, safe, and effective way to stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation. Thanks to its antifungal properties, using neem for scalp infections may drastically improve the symptoms in a few weeks. Reducing scalp dryness and nourishing the hair shaft, it is recommended to use neem for dandruff and hair thinning problems.

For hundreds of years, people have been using neem for lice problems. Even to this day, Neem is used as a primary ingredient in herbal shampoos and oils for treating scalp and hair problems.

Neem as A Mosquito Repellent

neem as a mosquito repellent

The strong and bitter aroma of neem oil keeps mosquitoes at bay. The oil is extracted from neem seeds and can be used as a mosquito repellent. Mixed with a carrier oil (coconut oil), neem oil can be applied to the skin for all-night protection against mosquitoes.

Another way is to burn neem oil in a diffuser or use it as a mist, which mosquitoes find repulsive. Also, planting neem trees in the vicinity of your home can keep mosquitoes miles away.

Neem For Blood Purification

neem as a blood purifier

One important medical use of neem is as a blood purifier. It can support overall health by eliminating free radicals, regulating hormones, and boosting immunity. Neem is used in various herbal formulations to remove toxins from the bloodstream and enhance liver function. Thanks to its powerful immunomodulatory properties, Neem can help fight recurring infections and diseases.

Neem is a godsend for managing the symptoms of diabetes while improving cardiovascular health. It is a primary ingredient in herbal formulations like Manjishtadi Kwath – a potent blood purifier that helps treat acne and other skin problems at the source.

Manjishtadi Kwath
manjishtadi kwath

Purifies Blood & Improves Skin Health

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Neem For Teeth

benefits of neem for teeth

Chewing on neem twigs is a traditional morning ritual for maintaining optimum oral health. Not only does it help cleanse the teeth, but it also kills harmful bacteria in the mouth to maintain a healthy microbiome.

  • Neem can also help prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum problems.
  • People experiencing plaque build-up or staining can benefit from using neem twigs or neem-infused toothpaste.
  • Neem's anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties may help relieve toothache and swelling in the gums.

Neem For Digestion

benefits of neem for digestion

Neem can help improve gut health, support Agni, and promote overall wellbeing. Neem is believed to have a mild laxative effect that can help improve bowel movements and relieve chronic constipation.

Taking neem tablets may also reduce bloating and gas. If you experience frequent episodes of acid reflux, the antacid properties of Neem may help.

Different Uses of Neem

Each part of this wonder tree is helpful in one way or the other, be it leaf and flower extracts or neem seed oil and twigs. Let's look at various ways Neem can be used for treating health issues and maintaining overall well-being.

Neem Powder

neem powder

Neem leaves are dried and ground to prepare a fine powder that can be consumed with water or aloe vera juice for managing the symptoms of diabetes. It is recommended to take 1 gram of neem powder 2-3 times a day. However, it is essential not to use the herb for an extended period.

Neem Tincture

neem tincture

One ml of neem tincture is equivalent to approximately 20 drops from the glass dropper. The recommended dosage is 2-3 ml, 2-3 times a day, or as advised by a herbal practitioner.

Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil

neem oil

Using the cold pressing technique, the properties of Neem are distilled into the topical oil, which can be used as a moisturizing body oil to treat dry, itchy or inflamed skin. Neem oil can also be used in aromatherapy massages or in bathwater to achieve soft, smooth skin. It can be applied overnight as a hair oil to condition the hair and control frizz. It can also be used in head massages to nourish the scalp and treat dandruff.

Kerala Ayurevda’s Neem Products

Kerala Ayurveda uses Neem as a primary ingredient in various herbal formulations as mentioned below:

Manjisthadi Kwath

This Ayurvedic syrup is known for natural skin healing and give you glowing skin with enhanced tone and complexion by controlling excess sebum production.

Nimbadi Kwath Tablet

It helps eliminate toxins from the blood and prevent various skin diseases. It is known to heal wounds and prevent acne breakouts while improving the overall skin complexion.

Mahathikthaka Gritham Capsules

Helps reduce skin inflammation and treat conditions like oedema, hyperpigmentation, anemia and gas trouble.

Mahathikthaka Gritham Capsules
Mahathikthaka Gritham Capsules

Capsule for Skin and Hair

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GT Capsule

Helps relieve joint pain and manage severe symptoms of osteoporosis. Besides improving bone health, it is also known to heal wounds and treat skin diseases.

GT Capsule
GT Capsule

For Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis

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Precautions

Some precautions to take when using Neem:

  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding: Neem may not be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, mothers-to-be and lactating mothers should avoid taking Neem in any amount or form.
  • Allergy: Some people may be allergic to Neem and experience skin irritation, itching, and redness. If you experience any side effects, stop using Neem immediately.
  • Blood sugar levels: Neem is known to lower blood sugar levels. That is why people with diabetes should use it cautiously and closely monitor their blood sugar levels.
  • Drug interactions: Neem may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners. In case you are taking any medications, it is recommended to consult with a doctor before using Neem.
  • Dosage: It is crucial to consume Neem in the recommended dosage, as taking large doses may lead to side effects.

Summary

Neem is a medicinal tree native to India. It has been used for 1000s of years in Ayurveda and alternative therapies. It is considered a highly beneficial tree, thanks to its antibacterial, analgesic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Neem is traditionally used for treating skin problems, infections, and fever. It is also known to be a natural pesticide, insecticide, and mosquito repellant.

Besides its medicinal properties, Neem is used in cosmetics and personal care products, such as acne creams, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. Neem oil is used as a moisturizer and hair conditioner, as well as to soothe red, dry, itchy skin and treat dandruff.

Although Neem has numerous benefits, it should be used cautiously as it may do more harm than good for pregnant women and lactating mothers. People on chronic medication should consult their doctor before taking Neem in any form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although there is limited research related to the side effects of Neem during pregnancy, a few studies suggest that taking large amounts of neem oil can cause harm to the developing fetus. Pregnant women are advised not to take high doses of neem supplements or use high-concentration neem oil products. It's recommended to consult your doctor before using any herbal remedy or supplement containing neem extracts during pregnancy.

Neem has a huge cultural and traditional significance in India. Neem is considered a sacred tree with a long history of use in Ayurveda and religious ceremonies. According to Ayurveda, Neem leaves and oil are used for treating skin conditions, wounds, and digestive problems. Besides, neem leaves are used in religious rituals and are considered auspicious in Hinduism. That said, neem trees are often planted near homes and temples. Furthermore, Neem continues to be widely used in Indian households and natural therapies for its medicinal properties.

Yes, Neem can be used with other allopathic or ayurvedic medicines, but it's recommended to consult your doctor before combining it with your other medications. Neem tends to interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, diabetes medication, and immunosuppressants.

Neem seed oil can be applied to the skin once or twice daily, depending on the skin condition being treated. However, the frequency, dose, and duration of using neem oil or other neem-based products depend on the intended purpose or severity of the condition.

The recommended daily dosage of Neem can vary depending on the reason for using it. Always consult your doctor for personalized recommendations. Generally speaking, 50-200 milligrams of neem leaf extract per day is considered safe for most adults when used for a short duration. However, it's important to note that Neem is not recommended for long-term use and may have side effects if taken in higher than recommended doses.

Neem leaves can be consumed fresh, dried, or in a supplement, such as a neem leaf extract or capsules. Additionally, Neem twigs can be chewed on as a natural alternative to toothpaste. It helps clean teeth and strengthen gums, maintaining a healthy microbiome. Mixed with a carrier oil, neem oil can be used for treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, as well as overall skin care. Also, neem oil can be used as a pesticide and fungicide to protect crops and repel mosquitoes.

There are many benefits to taking Neem on an empty stomach. Drinking neem juice on an empty stomach helps improve the immune system, skin tone, and digestion while keeping your sugar levels in check and eliminating toxins from the body.

Neem has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various health conditions, including skin, digestive, dental, and respiratory disorders.

Neem can have side effects if taken in large doses or for a prolonged duration. Neem can cause digestive issues, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also cause miscarriage or affect fetal development, so pregnant and lactating women should avoid using Neem without consulting a doctor. Furthermore, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Neem, including skin rashes, ulcers, etc.




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