The Benefits of Neem
The Benefits of Neem
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a versatile and beneficial plant that has been celebrated for centuries. Use of neem dates back to at least 4,500 years, when this remarkable tree was already renowned in ancient India and adjacent countries.1
Neem Benefits and Uses
- Skin and Blood. Neem is famous and celebrated for promoting healthy skin and a clear complexion. Due in part to its bitter taste, it has an incredibly cooling effect on the body, reducing excess heat that can manifest as skin blemishes.
- Immune System. Its detoxifying effects on the body make it a great herb for supporting a healthy immune system, especially for the cleansing of ama (natural toxins) from the body.
- Blood Sugar. The purifying benefits neem has on the body’s blood and circulation also help support healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range.
- GI Tract. A healthy digestive environment is vital. Neem reduces unwanted heat and toxins in the GI tract.
- Metabolism. Neem’s kapha-reducing properties encourage proper fat and water digestion and elimination, keeping water retention from accumulating in the body.
- Lungs. Neem supports clear breathing and a healthy respiratory system.
- Hair. For those with excess pitta and heat trapped in the scalp and hair follicles, neem is terrific for cooling the scalp and supporting the growth of lustrous, smooth hair.
- Teeth and Gums. Neem is highly effective in the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums and supports overall oral hygiene.
- Neem Balances Pitta. Neem is quite bitter in taste, which gives it a powerful cooling energy (virya). This cooling principle, combined with its capacity to support healthy blood, helps balance pitta—particularly when there is heat in rakta dhatu (the blood).5
- Neem Balances Kapha. Neem’s light and dry qualities give it the ability to counter kapha as well. Neem’s kapha-reducing properties encourage proper fat and water digestion and elimination, keeping water retention from accumulating in the body.
- Neem Can Aggravate Vata. Neem’s cold, light, and dry qualities tend to aggravate vata. Neem is therefore often recommended in combination with other herbs that help subdue its vata-provoking nature.
Modern Research on Neem
Modern scientists have described health-promoting uses for all parts of the neem tree—especially the leaves. Numerous studies have affirmed a wide range of applications for neem, and while these broad strokes are beyond the scope of this article, we can highlight a few of the findings.
- “Effect of neem leaf inclusion rates on compost physico-chemical, thermal, and spectroscopic stability.” PubMed Extract. Aug 2020.9
- “Utilization of Neem Leaf Extract on Biosynthesis of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles.” PubMed Extract. Oct 2019.10
- “Neem (Azadirachta indica): An Indian Traditional Panacea with Modern Molecular Basis.” PubMed Extract. Oct 2017.11
- “A comprehensive Review of Phytochemical Profile, Bioactives for Pharmaceuticals, and Pharmacological Attributes of Azadirachta indica.” PubMed extract. Jul 2018.12
- “Biological Activities and Medicinal Properties of Neem (Azadirachta indica).” Current Science. Oct. 2011.13