(NaturalHealth365) Neem, a natural herb, can reduce inflammation – which boosts immunity and helps to prevent cancer. In Africa, the neem tree is known as the “Tree of Forty,” a testament to the belief that it can treat 40 different diseases.
In India, this herb is so powerful in reversing many health problems – it is affectionately termed, ‘the village pharmacy’. Both nicknames are well earned – extracts and oils from the leaves, bark, and seeds of this amazing tree provide an almost overwhelming menu of health benefits.
Neem extracts can kill pathogens that cause dental cavities, treat skin conditions such as eczema, help detoxify the body and act against cancer cells.
Although neem has been used for 2000 years, in traditional medicine, it is not widely utilized in Western medicine. However, as scientific studies reveal the benefits – healthcare practioners are waking up and incorporating this herb into their healing practice.
A natural alternative to toxic pesticides
The neem tree, scientifically known as Azadirachta indica and also called the margosa, is a member of the mahogany family. Indigenous to India and parts of southeast Asia, it presently grows in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, North and South America, Australia and the South Pacific.
The neem tree’s leaves, roots, twigs, bark and seeds play a major role in Ayurvedic medicine, where it has been used for centuries to treat gastrointestinal problems, stomach ulcers, malaria, diabetes and cancer. Currently being studied in India for use as a natural contraceptive, neem is also a non-toxic natural pesticide.
Can I use neem as a natural detoxifying agent?
Neem leaves have powerful antioxidant effects, and their extracts have been shown to reduce levels of malondialdehyde, an indicator of oxidative stress, by 50 percent – a drastic reduction. Neem extracts also have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-parasitic and diuretic properties, and may help to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
Some health experts credit neem with antifungal and antibacterial effects, and add that it may have anti-cancer properties. Especially the neem leaves act a tonic and detoxifier due to their antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities.
Neem gets its antimicrobial and insecticidal powers from its high content of azadirachtin, a plant compound. It is also rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural anti-inflammatory, and high in beneficial fatty acids. The antioxidants quercetin, catechin and gallic acid provide additional health benefits.
How can neem improve the health of my teeth and gums?
Neem extracts have been shown to be effective in reducing plaque and cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. In a clinical study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, applications of a dental gel of neem leaf extract worked better than chlorhexadine, a commercial preparation, in reducing plaque and streptococcus bacteria in the mouths of patients. If you’re looking for a nice neem product – check out the company called, LivingLibations.com.
Does neem really inhibit cancer cell growth?
Extracts from the neem tree are packed with beneficial natural substances such as limonin, azadirachtin, kaemferole, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid. In addition to combating oxidative damage in the body, these phytochemicals can help enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, and interfere with the growth of cancer cells.
Although clinical trials are lacking, research on animals showed that neem leaf extracts can cause apoptosis – a type of cell suicide. Studies on human cells supported the ability of nimbolide – a substance found in neem flowers – to suppress the proliferation of leukemia and melanoma cell lines, as well as causing apoptosis. Studies exploring the ability of neem to treat cancer in humans are still ongoing.
Can neem help me with any other health problems?
Neem extracts have been used to successfully treat ulcers. In one ten-week study, conducted on patients with duodenal ulcers, 30 to 60 milligrams of neem bark extract – twice daily – significantly reduced stomach acids and caused ‘near healing’ in all patients involved.
Other studies have supported neem’s ability to improve the health of patients with HIV and AIDS. A 12-week regimen of neem leaf extract drastically improved levels of CD4 cells in 50 of 60 patients, with no adverse effects reported. Significant increases in body weight, hemoglobin concentration, and lymphocyte differential count were reported as well.
Neem is even effective against head lice. Neem seed oil has been established to be between 80 and 97 percent successful in killing both the adult lice and the eggs.
How do I use neem?
You can find neem products in health food stores, pharmacies and online like at LivingLibations.com. Neem is available in a variety of forms, from teas to capsules. Naturally, we suggest for health issues to consult your doctor before using neem.
Neem leaves and teas are considered very safe when used at recommended levels, although they can cause mild digestive disturbances. Again, always seek the advice of an experienced healthcare provider – when looking to treat health issues.
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