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Neem: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

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By NS Desk 18-Dec-2020

Neem

Neem has many medicinal uses for the body. Neem is beneficial when taken orally and when applied to the skin for various skin problems. Each part of neem effective against various skin problems and infections. It is used to treat skin infections such as pimples, acne, skin rashes, and allergies. It is also helpful in preventing eczema and ringworm infections.
 
Neem is also helpful for reducing blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients can take a neem tablet after meals to keep blood sugar levels in control. Neem can also be used in the form of oil and can be applied to the scalp to get rid of hair lice. It can also be used to treat wounds such as diabetic ulcers in the case of diabetic patients. Neem twigs can be used regularly to prevent dental problems like gingivitis, cavities, and tooth decay.
 
However, it is advised to avoid the use of neem at the time of pregnancy as neem can lead to miscarriage. Also, if taken in higher doses, neem can cause diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, and skin allergies
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Treating diseases/ health problems using neem
Given below are the uses of neem to treat various health problems and skin infections.
 
● Skin disorders
   

            Scientific

               Ayurvedic

Due to blood purifying property in neem leaves, they can help reduce the levels of toxins in the body and are also effective against skin allergies such as pimples, acne, and eczema.

According to the ayurvedic view, due to the presence of tickets and kashaya properties in neem, it is effective against various types of skin disorders and also helps to purify the blood.

 
● Diabetes Metillus type 1 and 2
       

              Scientific

              Ayurvedic

According to research, nimbinin in leaves can help lower blood sugar levels and is beneficial for diabetic patients.

The presence of tikta property and ama that is toxic remains in the body caused due to indigestion removing nature; it can help reduce sugar levels in the body's blood and improve metabolism.

 
● Malaria
 

           Scientific

               Ayurvedic

Neem helps to inhibit the growth of malarial parasites. This is due to the presence of certain constituents in the neem, which makes it effective against malaria.

There are tikta and krimihar properties present in neem, and due to these properties, it works as an antimicrobial agent and prevents the growth of any kind of infection in the body.

 
● Worm infections

             Scientific

            Ayurvedic

Due to a substance called azadirachtin in neem, it works as an antihelmintic agent and can help prevent the risk of parasitic worms. It inhibits the activity of parasites and also helps to remove them from the body.

According to the ayurvedic view, due to tikta and krimihar property in neem, it is effective against worm infections and helps suppress the growth of these worms in the body.

 
● Stomach ulcers

             Scientific

           Ayurvedic

Neem can help reduce gastric ulcers by decreasing gastric acid secretion and enhancing the levels of gastric mucus. This is due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties in neem.

Due to the ropan, sita, and kashaya effect of neem, it can help to treat ulcers.

 
● Head lice

             Scientific

             Ayurvedic

Due to its insecticide property, it can help to reduce lice in the hair. This is because it interferes with the life cycle of lice and inhibits it from hatching eggs.

Due to the tikta and ruksa properties of neem, it can help to prevent dandruff and reduce head lice.

 
● Dental plaque

         Scientific

          Ayurvedic

Neem twigs can be used regularly to get rid of dental plaque, gingivitis, cavities, and tooth decay. This is due to the antimicrobial property of neem.

According to the ayurvedic view, if neem is used daily, it can help to get rid of bleeding gums and tooth decay due to the presence of astringent or kashaya property in neem.

 
Some other benefits of neem
 
● For contraception
According to certain studies, neem oil can be used as a vaginal lubricant before sexual intercourse in order to avoid pregnancy because of its spermicidal property. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using neem as a contraceptive.
 
● For diabetic ulcers
Neem can help heal wounds faster in diabetic patients due to its angiogenic property, which is the formation of new blood vessels. Neem can be used in the form of neem oil along with oral use of turmeric powder capsule to heal chronic nonhealing wounds in the case of diabetic patients.
 
● For herpes labialis 
Aqueous extract of neem bark can inhibit the entry of viruses and its attachment to target cells. Neem barks are known to have an antiviral property, which can be effective against Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV.
 
● For preventing mosquito bites
Neem cab is used as a natural insect repellent due to insecticidal property in it and can help prevent mosquito, mites, and nematodes bites.
 
Forms of neem along with recommended dosage
Neem is available in various forms that can help to treat different disorders. It can be taken in the form of leaves, juices, oil, capsules, tablets, and syrup. Also, each and every part of the neem tree is useful in fighting various infections.
 
If you have not consulted any doctor regarding the dosage of neem, then you can consider the below-given dosages.
● Neem leaves – 4 to 5 leaves once a day, preferably in the morning.
● Neem juice – 2 to 4 teaspoons two times a day.
● Neem churna – ¼ - ½ teaspoons two times a day.
● Neem capsule – 1 to 2  capsules twice a day.
● Neem tablet – 1 to 2 tablets twice a day.
● Neem syrup – 3 to 4 teaspoons two times a day, preferably after meals.
● Neem oil – ½ - 1 teaspoon twice a day.
● Neem paste – ½ - 1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
● Neem powder – ½ - 1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
In case you have been prescribed by the doctor regarding the dosage of neem, we advise you to follow that prescription strictly.
 
Types of ayurvedic care with neem
 
1. Neem leaves
a. Take 4 to 5 leaves of neem.
b. Chew them on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning, in order to control intestinal worms.
 
2. Neem juice
a. Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of neem juice.
b. Add some amount of water to it.
c. Mix them.
d. Have this drink twice a day after meals for weight loss and controlling diabetes.
 
3. Neem churna 
a. Take about  ¼ - ½ teaspoon of neem churna.
b. Gulp this churna with lukewarm water or some honey after meals two times a day.
 
4. Neem capsules
a. Take a glass of lukewarm water.
b. Swallow 1 neem capsule with it twice a day after meals.
 
5. Neem tablet
a. Take a glass of lukewarm water.
b. Swallow 1 neem tablet with it.
c. Take this medicine two times a day for better results.
 
6. Neem  kwath
a. Take around 5 to 6 teaspoons of neem kwath.
b. Drink it with a glass of water or some amount of honey once or twice a day, preferably after meals. It has anti-bacterial and antidiarrheal properties.
 
7. Neem rose – water pack
a. Take about 1 to 2 teaspoons of rose water.
b. Add 1 teaspoon of neem leaves or neem bark powder to it.
c. Apply this paste gently all over the face, neck, and hands. 
d. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
e. Then wash it with running water. 
f. Apply this face pack 3 times a week to prevent acne, pimples, and blackheads.
 
8. Neem coconut oil
a. Take 1 – 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
b. Add ½ - 1 teaspoon of neem oil.
c. Apply gently on the scalp and massage for 15 minutes.
d. Use this remedy thrice a week to reduce lice.
 
9. Neem fresh leaves or barks
a. Take around 1 to 2 teaspoons of neem paste.
b. Add 2 pinches of turmeric to it.
c. Apply this paste gently on your face and neck.
d. Let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes.
e. Then wash it with lukewarm water.
f. Repeat this 2 times a week for better results.
 
10. Neem twigs
a. You can use neem twigs as a toothbrush or daton to clean teeth and prevent tooth decay.
 
11. Neem juice
a. Take some honey.
b. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of neem juice to it.
c. You can apply it gently over the wounds and the sites affected by eczema.
d. Apply this remedy 2 to 3 times a day for better results.
 
Neem for various disorders
 
1. For skin disorders
a. Take 3 to 4 teaspoons of neem syrup.
b. You can add honey to it if you want.
c. Take this medicine twice a day after meals.
d. Repeat this for 1 to 2 months.
 
2. For Diabetes Mellitus ( type 1 and 2)
a. Take 1 tablet of neem two times a day before having your lunch and dinner.
 
3. For worm infestation
a. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey.
b. Add ½ teaspoon of neem powder. 
c. Take this remedy twice a day before having your meals.
 
4. For stomach ulcers
a. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey.
b. Add ½ teaspoon of neem powder to it.
c. Take this remedy twice a day before meals.
d. Repeat this for 1 to 2 months for better results. 
 
5. For head lice
a. Take a mixture of your shampoo and neem oil in the 1:3 ratio.
b. Massage gently on your scalp for about 5 minutes.
c. Then let it stay for 5 to 6 minutes.
d. Wash it off with running water.
e. Wash your hair with this mixture regularly.
 
6. For dental plaque
a. Use neem twigs to clean your teeth instead of a regular toothbrush.
b. Wash with plain water after cleaning your teeth with neem twigs.
c. Repeat this daily in order to prevent dental problems.
 
7. For preventing mosquitos’ bites
a. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
b. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of neem oil to it.
c. Mix well.
d. Apply on the skin in order to prevent mosquito bites.
 
8. Neem for skin 
a. Take some neem leaves.
b. Boil them in a pot of water until the amount becomes half.
c. Cooldown the mixture.
d. You may use it as a last rinse after your regular shower.
e. Use this remedy two times a week.
 
Side effects of neem
Even though neem is blessed with several magical benefits, it has certain side effects also. Some of the side effects of neem are:
● It can cause vomiting.
● It can lead to diarrhea.
● It can cause drowsiness.
 
Precautionary guide while using neem?
 

              Scientific

              Ayurvedic

  • If you have autoimmune disorders such as sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, neem could enhance the symptoms. This is because in the case of autoimmune disorders, the immune system becomes more active, and thus neem can increase the symptoms. Therefore it is better to avoid consumption of neem in such cases.
  • Neem can be used as a contraceptive as it can damage sperm, so you should avoid its use if going through infertility treatment or planning to have babies.
  • You should not use neem at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. This is because neem can interfere with the blood sugar levels during and after surgery.

Neem should always be used under medical supervision.

According to the ayurvedic view, in order to control the side effects of neem, you can use ghee, sandha namak, and cow milk.

 
● For allergy
If you have any kind of allergy from neem or its constituents, then prefer to use neem under a doctor's supervision.
 
● For breastfeeding
Due to a lack of studies and medical research, avoid using neem during breastfeeding.
 
● For diabetic patients
Neem can lead to a decrease in blood glucose levels. Thus it is advised to keep your blood glucose levels checked if you are a diabetic patient or consuming any anti-diabetic drugs.
 
● For patients with heart disease
Neem leaf poisoning can cause ventricular fibrillation.
Neem leaf extract can also lead to bradycardia, a slow heart rate, heart rate abnormalities, or low blood pressure.
 
● For pregnant ladies
Consumption of neem during pregnancy is highly unsafe and can lead to miscarriage. Thus prefer not to use neem during pregnancy.
 
● For skin allergy
You should do a patch test before using neem on your skin. 
1. Apply neem to a small area.
2. Let it stay for some time.
3. Then wash it with running water.
If there are no rashes or any other reaction, then you can use neem on your skin.
 
● For hypersensitive skin 
If your skin is hypersensitive, then use neem with honey or rose water.
 
● Neem on scalp or skin
If you want to apply neem on the scalp or skin, then mix its juice or oil with coconut oil or olive oil and then apply gently on the skin or scalp. This is due to the strong nature of neem.
 
FAQ's about neem
 
Q What are the different forms of neem available in day to day life?
A There are various forms of neem available in our day to day life, such as:
● Neem oil – It can be applied on skin, face, neck, and scalp. It is also used as a constituent in face wash, face scrubs, creams, and oil.
● Neemleaf powders – It can be used as a constituent in face packs, face masks, face washes, toners, and peels.
● Neem Cake – It is used in scrubs.
 
Q How can we store neem leaves?
A Firstly, you need to wash the neem leaves, and then after drying them under the sun, you can store it in a cool and dry place for around a week.
 
Q How can we store neem oil?
A You need to store neem oil in a refrigerator or in a cool and dark so that it can last longer. Generally, neem oil lasts for one or two years. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then consult a doctor before using neem oil.
 
Q Is neem useful for aromatherapy?
A Neem flower oil has a restorative and calming effect on the body. Therefore it can be used in aromatherapy. Also, neem flower oil is an important constituent in various creams and massage oils.
 
Q Is neem twig reusable?
A In order to avoid microbial contamination, it is advisable not to reuse neem twig. However, neem twig is quite beneficial for maintaining good oral health and also prevents tooth decay.
 
Q What is the scientific name of neem?
A The scientific name of neem is Azadirachta Indica. 
 
Q Can neem help to improve the functioning of the liver?
A Yes.  Due to the antioxidant property of neem, it is quite effective in preventing the liver's damaged by certain substances such as free radicals and helps in the purification of blood. Thus neem can help in improving the functioning of the liver as it rejuvenates the liver.
 
Q Can neem has a neuroprotective effect?
A According to studies, neem helped to prevent the damage to the brain caused due to lack of Oxygen supply as it worked by promoting the level of vitamin C in the brain and thus helped to destroy certain substances such as free radicals. This helped to reduce the damage to the brain due to a limited supply of oxygen. This is due to the antioxidant property of neem. 
 
Q Can neem be used as a contraceptive?
A Yes, Neem can be used as a contraceptive. Neem can either be used as a pre or postcoital that is before or after sexual intercourse contraceptive. Neem helps prevent pregnancy as it inhibits the growth of sperm cells and mobility even when there is a lower concentration. Purified extracts of neem can help to eliminate pregnancy. Fertility can be regained after one or two cycles. There will be no impact on future pregnancies.
 
Q Is neem useful for gastric ulcers? 
A Due to the presence of anti-inflammatory property in neem bark, it can help decrease the formation of acid enzymes and gastric acid secretion. Therefore neem can be used for preventing gastric acid damage. Neem extracts also promote the production of gastric mucus that can help in avoiding gastric ulcers.
 
Q Can neem help to reduce blood sugar levels?
A Yes, according to certain studies, neem prevents certain enzymes that help to digest carbohydrates. The inhibition of these enzymes can help in reducing the increase in blood sugar levels after meals. Therefore neem can help in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
 
Q Is neem useful in case of a snake bite?
A The presence of certain chemicals in neem that can help detoxify snake venom proteins can act as an antidote agent in the case of snakebite. This is because neem inhibits an enzyme activity that is present in the venom of the snake and can cause neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, hemorrhage, and anticoagulant effects, and various inflammatory disorders. A decoction or paste made from the flower, bark, leaf, or fruit of neem can be prepared or given orally in such cases.
 
Q What is the use of neem in treating cancer?
A According to studies, extract of neem leaves can be used to treat cancer as it helps to destroy cells of cancer. Constituents of neem leaves can help prevent an increase of cancer and can also help in the treatment of cancer as it can improve the immune response, eliminate free radicals, and stop cell division and inflammation.
 
Q Can we consume neem seed oil?
A It is better to consult a doctor before consuming neem seed oil as it can have toxic effects.
 
Q What effect does neem have on your skin?
A 

              Scientific

              Ayurvedic

  • If you have autoimmune disorders such as sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, neem could enhance the symptoms. This is because in the case of autoimmune disorders, the immune system becomes more active, and thus neem can increase the symptoms. Therefore it is better to avoid consumption of neem in such cases.
  • Neem can be used as a contraceptive as it can damage sperm, so you should avoid its use if going through infertility treatment or planning to have babies.
  • You should not use neem at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. This is because neem can interfere with the blood sugar levels during and after surgery.

Neem should always be used under medical supervision.

According to the ayurvedic view, in order to control the side effects of neem, you can use ghee, sandha namak, and cow milk.

 
Neem for skin 
● Take some neem leaves.
● Boil them in a pot of water until the amount becomes half.
● Cooldown the mixture.
● You may use it as a last rinse after your regular shower.
● Use this remedy two times a week.
 
Q What is the role of neem in case of acne?

              Scientific

              Ayurvedic

According to studies, due to the presence of good antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help to inhibit the growth of bacteria that can lead to pimples and reduce the redness and pain around acne.

Due to the ruksha, kashaya, and sita property of neem, it can help reduce excess oil from the skin and the skin's pain and inflammation.

 
Neem for acne
● Take some neem leaves.
● Clean these leaves properly.
● Crush them and make a paste.
● Apply this paste gently on your acne.
● Let it stay as it is for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
● Wash your face with lukewarm water.
● Use this remedy three times a day to prevent acne and pimples.
 
Q Is neem helpful for psoriasis?
A Yes
 

             Scientific

             Ayurvedic

Due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties in neem, it can help to reduce the effects of psoriasis. You may apply neem oil regularly in order to prevent skin rashes and dryness caused due to psoriasis.

A ropan that is healing and kshaya that is astringent properties of neem can help reduce redness and inflammation caused due to psoriasis.

 
Neem for psoriasis
● Take about ½ a teaspoon of neem oil.
● Add it in some amount of coconut oil.
● Apply gently on the affected skin twice a day. 
● Repeat this for 1 to 2 months to reduce symptoms of psoriasis.
 
Q Is neem helpful for good dental health?
A In order to prevent infection in the tooth, root canal treatment is done. During the root canal treatment, there is a process called root canal irrigation, and during this process, neem is extensively used due to its antibacterial property.
 
Q What is the use of neem in eye problems?
A Neem can be used in order to prevent eye disorders such as eye blindness and conjunctivitis due to its anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties. 
 
Q How useful is neem oil?
 

                Scientific

             Ayurvedic

Neem oil can be used as a natural insect repellent and thus can prevent mosquito bites. This is due to its insecticidal property. It can be mixed with some amount of coconut oil and can be gently applied to the skin to prevent mosquito bites. Also, according to certain scientific research, neem oil has spermicidal property, and therefore it can be used as a vaginal contraceptive; however, more studies are required.

According to the ayurvedic view, neem oil has many benefits. It can be used to treat various skin disorders, skin rashes, and quick healing of the wounds. Since neem oil has the same properties as present in neem, it can treat various skin infections and allergies. Also, due to the presence of a ropan that is a healing property in the neck, it can be applied to the affected area for faster recovery.

 
Q How neem leaves juice or extract is useful?

             Scientific

            Ayurvedic

According to studies, due to antibacterial and insecticidal properties in neem leave juice or extract, it can help manage gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease, and leucorrhea (vaginal discharge). It can also be applied to the skin for various skin problems. It can also be given as a nasal drop to control the infestation of worms in the nose. The presence of antifungal property in neem leaves juice or extract can also be applied on the scalp in order to get rid of dandruff caused due to fungal infections. Some research also shows that neem leaves juice or extract can have spermicidal property.

According to the ayurvedic view, neem leaves juice or extract can help to prevent and control various disorders. It can be taken orally to get rid of worm infestation. Despite its sita property, it can be used to manage cough and cold. Neem leaves can also be used to apply on the scalp in order to get rid of dandruff. Neem leaves in the form of neem juice can act as a rakhta shodhak that is a blood purifier and can help prevent and control various types of skin infections and allergies.

consult with ayurveda doctor.
Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.
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