The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) has been recognized as possessing powerful health-promoting properties for millennia. It has its origin from India
Neem trees grow very rapidly and have broad-spreading leaves, which they can drop quickly in a drought so as to protect the rest of the trees. This quality makes them extremely resilient to challenging environments; it is primarily found in tropical and subtropical zones and thrives there.
The flowers are very fragrant and white in color, while the fruit of the neem tree is a small drupe with a bittersweet pulp.
Neem leaves are widely sought after and are a major industry in the subcontinents, as these valuable leaves can be used for many different things. The oil from neem leaves can be extracted and used in a wide variety of medicinal uses, while the leaves can be dried and used as a herb or even as a pest repellent (1).
Health Benefits of Neem
Neem tree is packed with myriad medicinal benefits.
This is the reason, why every part of this plant is used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines. Although bitter in taste, neem can be used to prevent and treat various health conditions.
1. Cancer Prevention
Neem has many incredible medicinal benefits, but one of the most important things is, it kills cancerous cells.
Neem Leaf Glycoprotein or NLGP, a purified form of protein from neem leaves, inhibits the growth of tumor cells. Instead of targeting the cancer cells directly, this protein modulates the immune cells present in the cancer environment and blood.
This, in turn, restricts further growth of the tumor thereby playing a key role in the treatment of cancer.
The high levels of antioxidants present in neem have been linked to reduced chances of developing certain types of cancer.
2. Dandruff Treatment
Neem is well-known for its potent antibacterial and antimicrobial property.
However, not many people are aware of the fact that neem oil can be used to kill head lice and dandruff.
It is very popularly used in shampoos and scalp cleansers, as it can help the skin remain hydrated and eliminate dandruff while strengthening your hair and improving the health of your hair follicles due to its antioxidant content (3).
it is also used in traditional medicine to stimulate hair growth and prevent male-pattern baldness.
3. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
One of the most widely recognized benefits of neem oil, leaves, tea, and every other derivative is its strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects (2).
As neem contains nimbidol and gedunin, medicinal compounds which possess antifungal activity thus help in killing fungus. Alternatively, you can also use neem leaves paste to heal and prevent these infections.
Neem is considered to be such a general tonic for the immune system and as a simple way to keep your overall health better protected.
4. Neem For Skin Treatment
Neem leaf extract is very effective in the treatment of skin diseases like acne, wrinkles, skin pigmentation, blackheads, dry skin, and other skin infections.
These leaves are known to possess antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, they soothe irritation and reduce inflammation.
5. Improve Oral Health
Neem is popularly used as an ingredient in oral health products in many parts of India (4).
The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of neem play a key role in the prevention of gum disease, toothache, bad breath, halitosis (bad breath) and mouth ulcers.
Apart from this, it also acts as a powerful natural remedy to get whiter teeth.
6. Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
Neem acts as an excellent natural aid to control diabetes.
The exact pathway of this beneficial effect of neem is somewhat unclear, but there is a connection between a lower demand for insulin in the body and the consumption of neem.
Furthermore, for patients who have diabetes, neem can be used to minimize the dependence on insulin therapy. Additionally, they improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels.
7. Gastric Health
Consuming neem has been directly connected with a reduction in inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps to reduce ulcers and a wide range of other intestinal issues, such as constipation, bloating, and cramping (6).
It can also be used as a quick healing antidote for stomach flu and infections that can destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut.
8. Detoxifying Effects
A great deal of detritus accumulates on our skin every day, including germs, microbes, dust, and grime; neem paste can help neutralize those chemicals, pathogens, or dirt that can cause irritation or illness.
Additionally, it also improves your immune functioning and thus, enhances your recovery.
Where to Buy Neem Extracts Online
When it comes to getting your hands on products like these, Amazon is your best bet. Everything is available from the best anti-aging products to the best moisturizers for oily skin. We made a quick list of some Neem extracts products from Neem butter to Neem powder.
- Organic India NEEM, 90-Count
- Organic Neem Butter-Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Neem Oil, Neem Leaf, Marula Oil, Kokum Butter, Rosemary
- Nature’s Way Neem Leaves, 475 mg, 100 Capsules
- Banyan Botanicals Neem Powder
- Organic Neem Bliss 100% Pure Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil
Word of Caution
Despite this vast range of potential health benefits, there are some side effects associated with neem.
Firstly, it should not be used or consumed by infants or toddlers, and those with existing kidney or liver issues should definitely consult a doctor before using neem leaves, paste, or oil.
There is a chance of fatigue associated with neem, due to its slight sedative nature, so be cautious of overuse, particularly in conjunction with any other medications.