This staple in Ayurvedic medicine has been used for thousands of years in the South Asia. Neem benefits range from skin health and hair growth to blood sugar support and GI tract health. Almost every part of the Neem tree is utilized--the leaves, fruit and bark for internal uses, and the seed oil for external uses.
What is Neem?
This tall, fast growing tree is known for its ability to withstand droughts and other harsh conditions. It belongs to the mahogany family of trees and provides a large shade when fully mature. The Neem tree can live up to 150 years and is native to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
In addition, the cooling properties of Neem make standing under the tree feel like you're experiencing air conditioning. It's quite delightful and always a popular picnic spot. Though the leaves and plant itself has a strong smell, the flowers produce a honey like scent that can be detected from miles away.
There is no short list of Neem benefits--we'll begin with its many internal uses for the body, and work our way to its exterior skin and hair properties. It you're discovering Neem for the first time, you're in for a treat. For those who've come across Neem before, we hope to widen your spectrum.
While many skin benefits arise from the exterior seed oil application, drinking Neem tea also has the same effect. Neem's blood purification and cooling properties help to reduce internal heat and clear the skin of acne, eczema and rash.
Blood Sugar Support
Neem isn't bitter for no reason, it helps to break down glucose in the blood and maintain healthy A1C levels. In addition, Neem promotes circulation--thus allowing the converted glucose to more effectively fuel our body, and leave us feeling energized. People who are diabetic or pre-diabetic would greatly benefit from incorporating this tea into their diet. A 2008 study demonstrated Neem's ability to treat Diabetic patients and protect their heart from damage related to insulin consumption.
Neem acts to remove toxins from the gastro intestinal (GI) tract and reduce internal heat. This tea is great to drink after spicy food. In addition Neem has traditionally been used to treat stomach ulcers. In a recent study, participants consumed 30 mg's of Neem extract twice per day for 10 days. This resulted in a 77% decrease in stomach acid, which helped to treat and heal the ulcers.
Attack intestinal worms and parasites
You thought we were done with gut health? Not quite, an often forgotten health benefit of Neem, is its potent anti-parasitic properties. It helps to kill and expel parasites/intestinal worms out of the body. Parasites of worms typically enter our body through meat or other foods and wreak havoc--from nerve pain to increased appetite.
To effectively rid the body of these worms, drinking Neem tea 1-2 times per day for up to two weeks is recommended.
Promote a Healthy Immune system
Another Neem Benefit is its ability to fight off disease and infections. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties. Though deeper study is needed, recent research has also shown it to possess anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Promote Blood Circulation
In Sri-Lanka, Neem is widely used by women to increase circulation throughout the body and reduce swelling in the legs. In addition, some have even remarked that it helped to regulate their hormones. This is a new finding and more research is required to verify this claim.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds in Neem help to keep gums healthy and prevent gingivitis. In addition, Neem powder can even be used as toothpaste to clean teeth. Chewing Neem sticks also helps to remove dental plaque and control bacteria in the mouth.
Research has shown Neem to promote lung health and clear the respiratory system of excess phlegm. In addition, studies have also found Neem to help treat and prevent asthma.
May cure leprosy
Though this rare ancient disease is not common today, hundreds of years ago, it ran rampant in the Eastern world. According to Egyptian medicine, Neem can be used to prevent and cure leprosy.
Disinfect and heal wounds
Leaves of the Neem tree can be mashed into a paste, then applied to wounds or insect bites. It cleans the would or bite, removes inflammation and speeds the healing process.
Cold pressed Neem oil can be applied directly to the scalp to moisturize hair, increase strength and rid it of dandruff. In addition, Neem's circulation properties penetrates the scalp and encourages new hair growth.
How to Use Neem
Since Neem comes in a variety of forms that include oil, stems and leaves, we'll tackle both the internal and external uses for this wonderful tree.
To get the internal benefits (Gut Health, Blood Sugar Support, etc), I recommend drinking 1-2 cups of Neem Leaf tea per day. It can be made in big batches and stored for later use. Below we get more into the actual preparation.
To get the benefits for hair, apply Neem oil directly to the scalp after washing your hair, then gently massage it in. Let it stay in your hair overnight. Repeat this process 2-3 times per week for thick, strong, beautiful hair.
If you're looking to apply Neem oil to eczema or a skin rash, drop a few spots on the affected area and gently massage it in.
How to prepare Neem tea
Neem tea is quite easy to make. Boil 2 oz of Neem leaves in one gallon of water for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let it seep for at least one hour. Add cinnamon, ginger and honey to flavor. It can be stored in the fridge up to a month.
Where to purchase Neem?
You can usually find Neem leaves or the oil at your local Indian grocery or health food store. If you can't find it, the Organic Neem Leaves and soap are readily available for purchase on our website. We ship to the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Click the link below to learn more.
Neem Side Effects
This is an extremely powerful herb, and as such, should be taken in moderation or periodically. To maximize the benefits of Neem, consume the tea in the following intervals: 1-2 weeks on, 3-4 weeks off.
- Continuous use of this Neem tea works as a contraceptive.
- Neem is not safe for pregnant or nursing women as it can lead to miscarriage.
- Neem should not be consumed by infants or children under the age of 10.
- Neem has powerful immune system boosting qualities--if you have undergone a kidney transplant and/or taking Immune system suppression drugs, please consult a physician before incorporating Neem into your diet.
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