Neem is a medicinal herb and a popularly known ingredient used in Indian Ayurveda. It belongs to the family of Meliaceae. Neem is also known as Arishta, Holy tree, and Indian Lilac. Neem trees mainly grow in the Asian subcontinental region like India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. People use all the parts of the neem tree, such as seeds, leaves, neem juice, fruits, flowers, oil, roots, and bark, for medicinal use. Neem is called “Sarva roga nivarini” in the Vedas, which translates to “the cure of all the ailments’.
Neem has beneficial antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancerous, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps prevent diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, malaria, ulcers, vitiligo, and viral infections. It has a rich nutrient profile containing protein, carbohydrates, minerals like vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, and carotene. Neem also contains glutamic acid, aspartic acid, praline, and fatty acids.
You can use almost all the parts of Neem in various forms to reap its benefits. However, one of the most beneficial ways to use neem leaves is Neem juice. People have been using neem juice for several years to aid several health conditions. For example, key benefits of drinking Neem juice is that it improves digestion and purifies the blood.
Neem for Balancing Doshas in the Body
Pitta includes qualities that reflect the elements of fire and water. Neem has a bitter taste profile, but it has a cooling effect/energy. When it interacts with the heat of blood, it eventually results in a balanced pitta dosha.
Kapha includes qualities that reflect the elements of water and earth. Neem helps balance the Kapha dosha in the body by improving the digestion of fat and water. It also helps in water retention in the body.
Vata includes qualities that reflect the elements of space and air. Neem, on its own, does not help stabilise Vata dosha in the body due to its light, cold, and dry quality. Therefore, it is crucial to mix neem with other herbs to stabilise the Vata provoking nature.
Amazing Health Benefits of Neem
Antibacterial in Nature
Neem possesses antibacterial properties. Ayurveda has been using Neem for several years as a natural healer. According to research, Neem is one of the best natural medicines to cure bacterial infections. Therefore, it is a popularly known ingredient generally used in India.
The medicinal properties of Neem leaves and Neem juice help relieve the common cold, viral fever, and even cancer. Neem also contains anti-cancerous properties that restrict the development of cancer cells in the body, eventually helping curb cancer.
Helps Improve Digestion
The antibacterial properties of Neem help cleanse and kill the harmful bacteria present in the intestine. In addition, Neem relieves digestion by improving metabolism. It helps balance Kapha dosha in the body, allowing water retention and fat elimination.
Neem also contains anti-flatulent and astringent properties, which help decrease gas formation in the alimentary canal. In addition, it exhibits an antacid quality that prevents the excessive formation of acid in the stomach. Furthermore, Neem is rich in fibre. Hence, consuming neem powder helps the smooth passing of stool thus preventig constipation. Drinking neem juice on an empty stomach daily in the morning can provide you relief from digestive issues.
Neem helps strengthen the immune system. Neem contains 130 biologically active compounds, which help relieve viral and bacterial diseases. According to research, Neem extract can help enhance the action of the immune system. Therefore, we can regard Neem extract as immunomodulating and antimetastatic. In addition, Neem is a strong immune-stimulant. These properties help improve the immune system’s overall health, keeping away all the nasty infections.
Helps Balance Blood Sugar Levels
Neem helps stabilise blood sugar levels in the body and regulates blood flow. Neem juice decreases starch’s breakdown into glucose, which lowers blood sugar levels. In addition, Neem juice helps broaden blood vessels and improves blood circulation in the body, which makes it a potent ingredient in hypoglycemic drugs.
Research suggests that the bark extract of neem can be pretty beneficial for people with diabetes. It also lowers insulin usage in people with diabetes because the consumption of neem juice increasingly activates the cells producing insulin. Consuming 2mg of neem juice in half glass of water on an empty stomach daily in the morning can help control diabetes.
Neem is an ultimate source of anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic benefits, which helps relieve inflammation in the body. Studies suggest that neem extract can help reduce inflammation quite significantly. Neem also helps in relieving pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. In addition, Neem is an effective remedy to help reduce burning sensations in the body. Neem is an efficient ayurvedic medicine that helps cure rheumatoid.
Improves Liver Health
Neem’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help fight oxidative stress that can lead to problems in your liver and kidney. Free radicals are responsible for causing oxidative stress. Although free radicals are a byproduct of metabolism, external factors can hamper their production. As a result, it can further lead to tissue damage in your liver and kidneys. Studies have shown that neem juice can be beneficial when fighting liver damage.
Another health benefit of Neem is that it is a potent detoxifying agent. As it enters your system, it starts working on your cells and cleanses your blood thoroughly. As a result, it improves your blood circulation and facilitates the removal of toxins from your blood, giving you a healthier system inside and out.
Neem Juice: Ways to Make
Making neem juice is simple. You can do it on your own in the comfort of your house and use it in different ways. You can use fresh leaves or dried neem powder to make neem juice.
Using Fresh Neem Leaves:
- Rinse one cup neem leaves thoroughly under running water.
- Put the leaves in a blender and add one cup of water.
- Blend the ingredients till you get a smooth consistency.
- Use a muslin cloth to strain out the mixture.
Using Dried Neem Powder:
- Dry some neem leaves under the sun.
- Use a grinder to turn the dried leaves into powder form.
- Add one tablespoon of this powder to one cup of water to make neem juice.
- You can store this powder in an air-tight container.
The Best Ways to Use Neem Juice
You can use the neem juice in different ways to reap its benefits. Neem juice positively affects your oral, skin, hair and digestive health. Let us look at the various ways to use Neem juice.
For Oral Health
Neem is well known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which help improve overall dental health. In addition, Neem juice helps in combating bad breath because of its germ-killing property. In addition, it can also help cure tooth decay.
Neem also minimises the bacteria’s ability to colonise and reproduce on the surface of your teeth and thus reduce any plaque formation. You can use neem juice, powder, and oil instead of toothpaste. It will help eliminate harmful bacteria that cause oral cavities, which may lead to swelling and bleeding gums. You can also use it to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth.
For Hair Health
Neem is the best-known remedy for combating dandruff. It contains anti-fungal properties, which efficiently cure dandruff and eliminate itchiness and inflammation in the scalp. Additionally, Neem has several benefits for hair health. For example, it acts as a good conditioner for the scalp because it contains nutrients like fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and stearic acid.
Applying Neem oil or Neem water to your hair provides a nourishing effect. In addition, massaging neem oil increases blood circulation in the scalp, thus helping accelerate hair growth. In addition, Neem contains essential nutrients that help eliminate toxins from the body that prevent greying of hair.
For Skin Health
Applying and consuming Neem helps heal skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, skin eruptions, and boils. In addition, Neem is efficient in detoxifying the body and removing toxins from the blood, therefore, leading to much clear skin.
Neem helps balance pitta dosha, which helps stabilise the body heat. When applied on the face as a face pack, Neem helps provide glowing and rejuvenated skin. It also prevents various signs of ageing and wrinkles.
For Gut Health
Neem has anti-flatulent and astringent properties, which help decrease gas formation. Furthermore, its antacid properties prevent the excessive formation of acid in the stomach. In addition, the fibre in Neem is very beneficial. Hence, consuming Neem powder helps smoothly pass stool and relieves constipation. You can drink Neem water every morning on an empty stomach to reap these benefits.
Possible Side Effects of Neem
Neem is a medicinal plant, and people use it in many herbal and Ayurvedic medicines. However, it can still cause some side effects, especially if you are allergic to the plant. In addition, it can have some severe adverse effects such as:
Nausea and Vomiting
Undigested neem oil can lead to nausea and diarrhoea. In addition, consuming neem in high amounts can lead to severe side effects like kidney failure, metabolic acidosis, and seizures due to chemical imbalance.
Can be Toxic For The Body
Neem oil can cause severe damage to adults and children in the form of a neurologic disorder named toxic encephalopathy. It leads to symptoms like vomiting, seizures, drowsiness, and brain swelling. It may even cause death. Those who survive this disorder have impaired neurological functions.
May Cause Infertility
Neem oil contains cell-damaging properties. It is considered a natural contraceptive and may lead to miscarriage in women. According to research, the aqueous extract of neem stabilises semen but destroys 100% human sperm within 20 seconds. Neem has a spermicidal activity that kills sperm when consumed. Consuming 3mg and more can cause adverse effects on male fertility.
Disturb the Skin and Stomach Lining
When undigested, Neem oil can cause harmful side effects. Neem oil contains Azadirachtin as an active ingredient, which may irritate the stomach lining.
May Lower Blood Sugar Extremely
Neem, when consumed in moderate quantities, can stabilise blood sugar levels. But consuming neem in high doses may significantly lower blood sugar levels.
Overstimulate Immune System
Neem helps boost the immune system. But when consumed in higher quantities, it may cause overstimulation of the immune system. Therefore, people who have undergone organ transplants should avoid Neem consumption.
May Not be Safe for Children
Some substances present in Neem may cause Reye’s syndrome symptoms in infants. Even a tiny amount of Neem oil can cause severity in infants. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor before giving it to your children.
The Bottom Line
Neem is a medicinal plant with some fantastic health benefits. It has an important place in Ayurveda, and it is a prominent medicinal herb used to treat several medical conditions. It also helps beautify your skin.
Neem also helps balance the body’s internal system. It helps boost the immune system, improves digestion, improves oral health, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, improves skin health and hair health. However, it is also essential to keep its consumption in check because excess consumption may lead to side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can we drink neem juice daily?
A. Yes, you can consume neem juice daily. Drinking neem juice helps manage blood sugar levels and prevent diseases like diabetes. 2mg is the daily recommended quantity.
2. What diseases can neem cure?
A. Neem contains antibacterial, anti-malarial, anti-fungal, and anti-cancerous benefits. In addition, it helps prevent skin diseases. It is also helpful for other diseases like cancer, smallpox, and malaria.
3. How often should I drink neem juice?
A. You can drink neem juice daily. It provides tremendous benefits for the body. However, you should always have it in moderation. In addition, you should consult your doctor before making neem juice a part of your daily diet.
4. What does neem do to the body?
A. Neem has tremendous health benefits. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain dental health, skin health, remove toxins from the body, and prevent stomach ulcers. In addition, it helps prevent diseases like asthma, constipation, diabetes, and indigestion.
5. Can I take neem on an empty stomach?
A. Yes, you can consume neem juice daily on an empty stomach in the morning. It helps in preventing diabetes and nourishes the cardiovascular system. However, you should never have it in excess because that can lead to some side effects.
6. Can I boil neem leaves and drink?
A. You should not drink water boiled using neem leaves. Instead, consume fresh neem juice for detoxification. However, you can use water boiled with neem for bathing, enema, and cleansing skin.
7. Is neem alkaline or acidic?
A. Neem is slightly alkaline. It has a pH level of 8.2. In addition, it contains various benefits and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
8. Is neem juice good for skin?
A. Yes, neem juice is good for your skin health. Neem contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help cure acne and help maintain skin health. In addition, consuming neem juice daily on an empty stomach in the morning helps improve skin health.
9. Is neem good for skin?
A. Yes, neem is good for skin health. It contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it helps cure acne and maintains the glow on your skin.
10. Does neem affect the menstrual cycle?
A. No, neem does not have a negative effect on the menstrual cycle. Instead, it helps in removing foul odours caused due to period blood. You can make neem paste with 8-10 leaves and have it with buttermilk to relieve pain.
11. Does neem reduce sperm count?
A. Yes, neem reduces sperm count because it is a natural contraceptive. However, neem leaves have a spermicidal activity that kills sperm when consumed. Therefore, consuming 3mg and more can cause adverse effects on male fertility.
12. Do neem leaves affect fertility?
A. Yes, neem leaves negatively affect fertility in both males and females. Hence, it is considered a natural contraceptive that leads to miscarriage in females. So, if you are planning to have a child, you should avoid its usage.
13. Is neem good for hair?
A. Yes, neem is good for hair because it helps in conditioning hair, reducing dandruff, and soothes frizz. In addition, it reduces hair greying and promotes healthy hair growth.
14. Does neem darken skin?
A. No, Neem does not darken the skin. Instead, it helps in reducing pigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes. It also evens your complexion by minimising melanin production.