If you haven’t used Neem till today, you must have heard about it and its extracts as they are the key components of health formulations and cosmetics we use in our daily life.
Neem leaves, pods, oil, bark, and flowers; In fact, every part of the Neem tree possesses amazing medicinal properties and are being extensively used in beauty and health products across the globe. Its oil is extracted from Neem seeds whereas it flowers, bark, and leaves are mostly used fresh or in dried powdered form combined or individually.
The scientific name of – Neem Tree (Indian Lilac) is Azadirachta indica. It has been an integral part of Ayurvedic and herbal medicine for centuries and is often termed as ‘the reliever of all diseases’.
In this article, we will go through the versatile health benefits of Neem (Azadirachta indica) tree and its extracts.
Benefits of Neem Tree – Leaves, Oil, Bark and Twigs
Benefits of Neem Oil and Powder for Hair
Are you suffering from dandruff or itching scalp?
If the answer is yes, then you must give Neem a chance.
Neem oil and leaf powder possess antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it effective in treating scalp related disorders. It also helps in relieving scalp dryness and helps repair damaged hair.
Take some Neem oil and massage it into the scalp and your hair, leave it in for a while, and wash with a mild hair cleanser.
Neem extracts effective in strengthening your hair, preventing hair fall, and treating dandruff. It also soothes scalp irritation and prevents dryness and flaking.
You can also apply Neem powder (paste) on your hair and scalp like a hair mask and leave it for 30 minutes for the best results if you do not like the smell of its oil.
Apart from this, if Neem leaf juice or oil is directly applied on the scalp, it can kill and prevent head lice infestation.
Neem Skin Benefits
Neem and its extracts are excellent for skincare. Its oil relieves dry skin and soothes itchiness and irritation caused by any sort of bacterial and fungal infection
Neem used as a face mask or body rub in oil or paste form derived from fresh leaves or powder is excellent for combating various skin health issues and bacterial infections such as acne, boils, and ulcers. Its antimicrobial properties help heal wounds and prevent infection.
Neem used in any form (soap-based or liquid extract) must be used as a face wash or body wash to maintain a healthy disease-free glowing skin. Studies show, it eradicates bacteria from the root level of your skin and prevents the recurrence of acne, pimples, and blackheads, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.
Neem is effective and beneficial for treating skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. It works as an excellent Exfoliant, shrinking skin pore size and helping prevent the development of blemishes, fine lines, and pimples.
Therapeutic Properties of Neem
One of the most widely recognized benefits of Neem is the strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral properties it possesses. Serious diseases like chickenpox and smallpox have been treated for ages with Neem leaves in India.
Sleeping over Neem leaves (dried and fresh) helps in early recovery and prevents the spread of infection.
Research on Neem has shown that Consuming its extracts in a supplement (pill) form in small quantities (250-500 mg) for a month or two, stimulates the liver and kidneys and helps in eliminating harmful toxins from the body.
Internal consumption also helps in eradicating skin-related disorders, bacterial and viral infections. It is also a known blood purifier. To treat fungal infections and athlete’s foot, apply Neem oil or paste on the affected area, and leave overnight.
People suffering from Malaria can take Neem to treat their symptoms and minimize the aftereffects of the disease. If consumed moderately in rainy or mosquito breeding season, it is also useful in preventing malaria from occurring.
Studies have found indicated that Neem extracts may play a pivotal role in chronic disease management as an effective antitumor agent. Neem contains flavonoids and other compounds that assist in reducing body inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of multiplication of unhealthy cells.
Neem flowers also possess therapeutic value and are used commonly to treat anorexia, nausea, belching, and intestinal worms.
Neem for Gastric Health
Neem reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which helps to heal ulcers and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. It also acts as an effective natural remedy against Amoebiasis due to its antibiotic and antimicrobial activity.
Neem extracts are very effective and safe in treating gastric hyperacidity and stomach ulcers.
Neem – An Effective Insect Repellent
Neem oil and leaves act as a powerful natural insect repellent that is non-toxic and highly effective in repelling mosquitoes and insects that harbor numerous diseases.
To prevent pest and mosquito attacks, do plant Neem trees around your house. Lit a Neem oil lamp or replace your Mosquito repellent refill liquid with Neem oil to drive mosquitoes away from your home and surroundings and be safe from the negative health effects of chemical-based repellents.
Neem for Dental Care and Oral Health
Neem is a very popular ingredient found in oral and dental health products. It acts as a potent antibacterial agent and helps in eliminating bacteria that causes bad breath and other mouth infections, including mouth ulcers.
Regular use of Neem based toothpaste, mouthwash, or powder helps in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and provides you whiter teeth. For centuries, a Neem twig has been used as a natural tooth cleaner. It not only fights germs present in the mouth but also helps in maintaining the alkaline levels in your saliva.
When 3-4 Neem leaves are consumed early morning empty stomach by slowly chewing it, it is very effective in preventing and treating swollen gums, dental plaque, tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
Neem as an Anti-inflammatory
Studies have indicated, Neem possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties. Its paste or oil is applied to aching joints and muscles and is especially beneficial for people suffering from arthritis and cervical spondylitis and can significantly reduce pain, discomfort and improve flexibility when massaged liberally in affected areas and consumed in a small quantity internally (250-500 mg).
Neem for Respiratory Disorders
Neem has shown to give long-term relief from respiratory disorders like Bronchitis and Asthma when taken regularly in prescribed dosage or as per the advice of a medical practitioner.
Taken in oil, powder, or pill form, it helps asthma patients in controlling various symptoms associated with the disease like cough, fever, and overproduction of phlegm.
Consuming Neem is also considered beneficial for the lungs.
Neem helps you Lose Extra Body Fat
One more advantage of eating Neem leaves on an empty stomach is that it aids in weight-loss. Even drinking Neem juice in moderation 10-15 ml daily for 2-3 weeks will help to flush toxins and boost your metabolism and breakdown of body fat, which will further help you to shed excess body fat.
Neem to Control Diabetes
According to various studies, Neem has shown to possess hypoglycemic or blood sugar lowering properties, and therefore it is concerned a wonderful natural for controlling the blood sugar levels and is considered ideal for diabetic patients.
Neem also prevents oxidative stress which is caused in diabetics due to fluctuations in normal blood sugar levels. Its chemical compounds optimize insulin receptor function and ensure that the body is receiving appropriate amounts of insulin, which protects against the development of diabetes. However, more research in the area is needed.
Every part of the Neem tree such as roots, bark, gum, leaves, fruit, seeds & oil) is used internally and externally and possesses therapeutic values.
Remember Neem should not be consumed by infants, pregnant women, and those with existing kidney or liver issues to avoid its side effects. Before supplementing, always consult a physician for getting proper advice on the appropriate dosage.
When consuming Neem or its extracts for the health benefits it offers, moderation is the key as studies have shown that excess intake has shown a contraceptive effect.