Neem, also known as Indian Lilac or Azadirachta indica is commonly found in the Indian subcontinent and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The medicinal and health benefits of neem are well known and it is also a household remedy for many common diseases. In recent years, scientific research has been able to isolate the specific medicinal compounds in neem and include them in pills, cosmetics and daily care products. Here is a list of the 10 health benefits of neem.\
Health Benefits of Neem
Dandruff is a very common scalp problem many of us face and neem can help to treat this problem comprehensively with no side effects. It has anti bacterial and anti fungal properties that help in reducing microorganism growth on the scalp. Other compounds in neem also prevent dryness and itching which are common symptoms of dandruff. Boiling neem leaves in water till the water becomes green and then using the water to rinse your hair is a very effective way of treating dandruff.
2.Treats skin diseases
Skin problems are caused by many different factors and some of them are not treatable only by neem, but since a majority are caused by some kind on the microorganism, neem is effective in treating most skin problems. It has anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral properties and it can treat many illnesses like acne, rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. It also helps heal wounds faster and prevent any infections or septic conditions. It also contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect skin from environmental damage and delay the signs of aging.
3.Kills head lice
Head lice are a problem that does not disappear fast and those who have experienced it will testify to the fact that any remedy is welcome as long as it brings some relief. A study published in the journal Parasitology Research in 2012 found that neem seed extract can eliminate head lice infestation with a single treatment, thanks to its natural insecticide property. It can also provide relief from scalp infections, itching and dryness. Using neem paste on your scalp and then rinsing it off with warm water is an effective way of killing lice and is one of the important health benefits of neem.
4.Maintains oral health
One of the health benefits of neem is that it can help maintain oral health and prevent gum diseases and other disorders. Since it is an antiseptic and antibacterial it kills bacteria that cause cavities, plaque, and gingivitis as well as bad breath and yellow teeth. Rubbing neem juice on your teeth and rinsing it off with water can cleanse teeth and kill bacteria. Alternatively, you can also use mouth wash and toothpaste that contains neem.
Diabetes is a disorder in which the fluctuation of blood sugar causes many complications in the body. In order to reduce the effects of diabetes and bring normalcy to life, neem can be very useful. According to a 2000 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Neem can be beneficial in controlling blood sugar or helpful in preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes. Consuming neem as a juice, powder or in the form of tablets is equally effective, but since diabetes also needs other medications, you should consult your doctor before making any changes in the medication regimen.
One of the health benefits of neem is that it is an excellent blood purifier and detoxifier and also helps to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. It gets rid of all toxins and harmful chemicals present in blood and increases the potential of the blood of carrying nutrients. This, in turn, improves the functioning of important body organs like the kidneys and liver. Moreover, it helps maintain healthy circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. Consuming neem tea, neem leaves or powder with honey and nee capsules are some ways in which you can consume neem.
7.Prevents intestinal worms
Intestinal parasites are common in many developing countries in the world and spread through food and water. Mostly found in children, intestinal worms are also found in adults and can have serious implications of they are left untreated for long durations. Some compounds in neem inhibit the parasites’ ability to feed, thus interrupting their life cycle and preventing new parasites from hatching. Neem also removes the toxins that the parasites leave behind as they die. This is one of the major health benefits of neem and makes it a very effective anti parasitic. Chewing neem leaves, drinking neem juice or taking tablets which contain extracts of neem are all good ways to treat parasitic infections.
8. Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Long term disorders of the joints like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are extremely painful and chronic and this leads to significant discomfort. The anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties of neem can help in reducing the symptoms of these diseases. Drinking neem juice or the strained water after pureeing the leaves is very beneficial in this respect.
9.Reduces nail problems
Problems with nails may not seem like a major medical issue but frequent breaking or peeling of nails due to brittle nails can lead to infections of the skin around the nails is frequently injured and these infections can cause serious problems. Neem has antifungal and antiseptic properties that help in reducing the chances of acquiring such infections and also prevents fungus from developing on the feet. Applying neem oil on the feet at night strengthens nails and helps prevents infections.
10. Helps fight cancer
According to a 2014 study by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the extracts of neem seeds, leaves, flowers, and fruits have shown chemo-preventive and antitumor effects in different types of cancer, including cervical and prostate cancer. The compounds present in neem help fight cancer by preventing cell division, removing free radicals, enhancing the immune system and reducing inflammation and thus relieve the symptoms while also treating the cause.