Did You Know…that the “magical” Indian Neem Tree is used in almost 75% of Ayurvedic remedies for countless health conditions, from diabetes … to skin and gum diseases … to infections … and even AIDS?
The Indian Neem tree, also known in English as the Margosa tree (Azadirachta indica) was named by the United Nations as one of the most promising trees of the 21st century. Its bark, leaves, and oil have been used medicinally for several thousand years in India, where it’s still used today to treat digestive disorders, skin diseases, diabetes, gum disease, fungal and viral infections, malaria, and even AIDS.
Common uses for various parts of the Neem tree—according to the Biovera Newsletter and other sources—include:
• Bark: Neem bark is used for treatment of respiratory disorders, fever, and skin diseases.
• Leaves: Neem leaves are used to help remove toxins, purify blood, and prevent damage caused by free radicals.
• Fruits: Neem fruits offer benefits for skin, digestion, and diabetes.
• Seeds: Neem seeds are said to be antipoisonous.
• Oil: Neem oil (derived from crushing the seeds) is incredibly medicinal—however, it breaks down quickly and is highly unstable. Also, for potency the oil must be from a tree that is at least 50 years old.
Neem Stands Up to Rigorous Scientific Scrutiny
Ancient claims for Neem’s medicinal powers have stood up to rigorous scientific testing. Researchers have identified more than 150 active substances in Neem—making it the most extensively studied tree in modern science.
Yet, outside of India and the Indian scientific community, Neem tree has been virtually unknown until very recently, perhaps due to the challenges of processing and stabilizing it. When properly processed, however, Neem can be tremendously therapeutic for:
- Digestion: Neem is very powerful against irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and hyperacidity.
- Respiratory Health: The bark and leaf powder from Neem can treat bronchitis.
- Skin: Neem has proven antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparastic properties. According to an article in the Guardian, British doctors are increasingly using Neem for eczema, psoriasis, gingivitis, head lice, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and ringworm.
- Diabetes: Ayurvedic remedies practitioners recommend managing diabetes by taking Neem extract and oil daily with aloe gel on an empty stomach for 3 months. One study published in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants showed that Neem oil reduced blood sugar levels up to 48%, a major benefit for controlling diabetes.
- Malaria and More: Neem is an effective treatment for malarial fevers. Researchers say it could offer hope for preventing and treating Chagas disease, which cripples millions of people in South America every year.
Ayurvedic Remedies: How to Use Neem
Depending on your condition, different parts of the Neem tree are required, and its use may be external or internal. Every part of the Neem tree—bark, leaves, and oil—has medicinal properties and is used differently for specific ailments.
Many natural health stores and web retailers carry Neem products (oil, cream, toothpaste, lotion, supplements, etc.), but quality should be carefully considered.
A wealth of additional information about using Neem for therapeutic purposes can be found online and from knowledgeable natural health practitioners.