Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
HEALTH BENEFITS OF NEEM
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a plant that has been widely used for many centuries especially in India as a medicinal herb due to its natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, purifying and blood sugar controlling properties.
Extracted from the seeds cold-pressed organic Neem oil has demonstrated many benefits and can be used both internally and externally.
In India the medicinal use of neem tree leaves or oil brought relief from so many different infections, pains, fevers, inflammations and other complaints that it has been called the “Village Pharmacy.” Also in certain African countries, the neem tree is known as the “Tree of Forty,” because it is believed it has ability to treat 40 different health conditions.
EXCELLENT NATURAL INSECT CONTROLL AGENT
Azadirachtin is the most active component in Neem oil and can be used as a natural, effective and non-toxic insect control agent. The Journal of Insect Science contains the following statement on Neem: “Control programs using conventional insecticides to target mosquito habitats are very expensive because these habitats are widespread. Additionally, there are serious environmental concerns regarding application of most conventional insecticides. There is a need for alternative methods that are more effective, less expensive, and environmentally friendly. One such method would be the application of preparations made from parts of the Neem tree, Azadirachta indica” (>).
In order to make a mosquito repellent or an excellent skin cleanser dilute Neem oil in a warm water (distilled would be the best for sensitive skin). Apply the mixture on the skin to clean it, repel mosquitos, and treat acne, blackheads, or other skin problems.
It is believed that even stubborn warts are among the skin conditions that may clear up when a good quality, organic and cold-pressed neem oil is applied directly to warts on a regular basis.
Research indicates that when Neem is used internally it can strengthen our immune system by stimulating the production of T-cells. In addition, Neem has proved to have antiviral properties and can also work as a potent antibiotic, but unlike synthetic antibiotics, it kills only the pathogenic bacteria leaving the probiotic bacteria and other beneficial micro-organisms residing in the gut untouched. A 2007 study stated that Neem shows strong activity against at least six bacterial strains.
Neem has been tested by researchers for its ability to reduce high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and blood clots. They found out that these benefits are also due to the anti-histamine effect of the nimbidin compound present in Neem as it causes blood vessels to dilate.
ALLERGIES & HAY FEVER
The same anti-histamine effect of Neem is helpful for those suffering from allergies and hay fever as these problems are associated with raised histamine levels.
Internal use of Neem can be beneficial for those who suffer from stomach ulcers as according to the 2006 study it “exhibits gastroprotective effect against ulcers that is safe and effective”.
DIABETES & BLOOD GLUCOSE
Numerous studies also indicated the effectiveness of Neem in regulating blood glucose levels.
ACNE & SKIN PROBLEMS
Since Neem oil is also high in important fatty acids and natural vitamin E and can quickly penetrate skin, it is very effective in healing dry and damaged skin. Neem oil also stimulates collagen production, thus improving skin tone and slowing down the aging process of the skin.
In traditional medicine Neem oil has been used as a natural and effective remedy for acne because of the aspirin-like compound that helps destroy residing in skin bacteria which is believed to be one of the causes of this common skin condition. Neem oil also helps to detoxify or purify the skin and reduce inflammation and redness. In addition, some active ingredients such as beneficial fatty-acids found in neem oil are believed to reduce scars caused by acne.
In case of acne (including acne scars) and other skin conditions such as eczema it is recommended to use the Neem oil both externally and internally (1 – 2 capsules or teaspoons a day). For external use mix Neem oil with natural Vitamin E and apply the mixture to the skin. The same combination of Neem oil and Vitamin E can be used for burns (including sunburns), skin ulcers, scars, wrinkles, gum disease, tooth aches, herpes, rosacea, ringworm, brittle nails, fungus, etc.
ECZEMA & PSORRIASIS
Neem seed oil can be also beneficial for those suffering from other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. In addition, neem oil is often recommended as an excellent cosmetic to help clear and rejuvenate the skin.
HAIR & SCALP PROBLEMS
Neem leaf oil can be very helpful for those who want to strengthen the hair and promote hair growth. In case of dry scalp, damaged hair and hair loss mix Neem oil with Castor oil or raw Coconut oil and massage the mixture into the scalp and hair leaving it for at least one hour or over night before washing it out. Repeat the same procedure every day for at least two weeks or longer. The same formula would be excellent to deal with dandruff, fungal infections or hair lice as research indicates neem oil can kills lice eggs too.
LEPROSY & INTESTINAL WORMS
The Neem seed oil is traditionally used for leprosy and intestinal worms.
HIV & AIDS
Neem leaf extract safely increases CD4 cell levels in patients with HIV/AIDS. In 2008 India successfully completed the phase two trial of a neem-based microbicide gel for women. Researchers hope the gel will help protect against vaginal transmission of HIV/Aids. Studies reported in 1992 and 1994 showed neem’s ability to enhance the cell-mediated immune response may be used to provide protection from vaginal contraction of the disease if neem is used as a vaginal lubricant preceding intercourse. AIDS may possibly be treated by ingesting neem leaf extracts or the whole leaf or by drinking a neem tea. Neem bark killed the AIDS virus in a preliminary 1993 in vitro study (Larson, 1993). A study in test tubes and petri dishes, not in people! Another 1993 in vitro study showed that neem bark and leaf extracts reduced the production of viral proteins in cells, indicating that neem may inhibit replication of the virus (Upadhyay et al, 1993). Studies reported in 1992 and 1994 (Beardsley,1992 and Caldwell, 1994) showed that neem stimulates cell-mediated immune response. Researchers suggested this may be used to protect against vaginal contraction of AIDS. (A very promising follow up study was reported in 2008, see below.)
A 2003 in vitro study showed that an acetone-water neem leaf extract can protect lymphocytes against invasion by HIV. Note that the extract protected 75% of the lymphocytes, not 100%. The same extract was used in 10 patients: 1000 mg neem leaf extract for 10 days improved the condition of patients, increasing hemoglobin concentrations, platelet count, CD4+ cell count and body weight. (Udeinya et al, 2003) Scientists have discovered that Neem, used for centuries by Indians to treat inflammation, fever and malaria, could help kill cancer cells.
“A friend of mine got healed just by taking 10 fresh leaves of neem for three months. He took three cups of tea of neem leaves boiled in one litre of water for 15 min. The HIV is nowhere to be found.”
“Hi everybody, The neem tree is a given gift of God. A friend of mine got healed just by taking 10 fresh neem leaves of for three months. He took three cups of tea of neem leaves, boiled in one liter of water for 15 min. You do not have to search any longer. The neem is the solution. People are getting healed, while I am writing to you now. Everybody is to have a neem tree in his house or planted in his garden. If you do not have seeds, you can buy some on the internet. This tree is wonderful; it can cure all the diseases causes by; viruses, bacteria, fungus. I have been healed from herpes 1 thanks to it. Believe you me; I am talking about things I know. I take It every day. God bless you.”
Neem has a proven ability to prevent pregnancy. It has also been shown to work well both before and after sex.
Chemical spermicides contain an active ingredient called nonoxynol-9, which can cause unwanted side effects including genital burning and dryness or rectal and vaginal irritation.
Fortunately, Neem oil has been proven to be an excellent natural spermicide and contraceptive being at the same time natural, safe and very beneficial for women suffering with vaginal thrush (candida overgrowth), inflammations, or bacterial infections.
According to the results of a 1985 study, human sperm becomes completely immobile within 30 seconds of contact with neem oil! When neem oil was applied inside the vagina, before sexual intercourse, it could successfully avert pregnancy.
According to a 2013 study conclusion, “1-5 ml (5ml = 1 teaspoon) of Neem Oil of oil is used for intravaginal applications. The plant oil had antifertility, antihyperglycaemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiulcer, estrogenic, immune, contraceptive, antibacterial, insect repellent, and skin treatment effects.”
2013 Study Abstract: “Neem Oil is of various medicinal uses, such as a contraceptive for intravaginal use, a mosquito repellent, and treatment of vaginal infections, treatment of gastric ulcers, cardiovascular disease, malaria, rheumatism and skin disorders, external applications for treatment of septic wounds, ulcers and boils, treatment of allergic skin reactions, asthma, bruises, colic, conjunctivitis, dysmenorrhoea, fever, gout, headache, itching due to varicella, kidney stones, leukorrhoea, psoriasis, scabies, sprains and muscular pain, and wounds. In conclusion, the plant oil had antifertility, antihyperglycaemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiulcer, estrogenic, immune, contraceptive, antibacterial, insect repellent, and skin treatment effects.” (>)
Several studies showed that Neem oil appears to be a safe and very effective contraceptive, before and after sex. In some studies it was 100% effective in preventing pregnancies. During in vitro experiments, neem oil also totally immobilized sperm cells within 20 to 30 seconds of being in contact with neem oil.
In the first century B.C., Charaka, the Indian physician, gave the following instruction for using Neem oil for contraception: “Cotton soaked in neem oil was kept in the vagina for fifteen minutes before intercourse. This killed the sperm.”
Currant studies showed that neem oil contraceptive indeed kills sperm in the vagina within 30 seconds and remains active for five hours. It causes no irritation or discomfort like the chemical based spermicidal foams do.
In addition neem oil acts as a lubricant, and it may also offer protection from vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases.
Neem is well known to be a powerful antimicrobial herb. There has been strong evidence found in a number of studies that leads us to believe that neem can be successfully used against gonorrhoea, syphilis, Chlamydia, herpes simplex-2 and possibly even HIV-1.
Neem also proved to have antifungal properties. Studies conducted before 1992 are not available online but they indicate that neem controlled fungi that causes athlete’s foot, ringworm and candida, the organism that causes yeast infections and thrush.
NEEM OIL AS A LUBRICANT
To prevent pregnancy, use a water based vaginal lubricant with ten-percent neem oil added. Apply before intercourse to give the surface of the vaginal wall time to become coated with the material. If there was no neem lubricant available during intercourse applying the lubricant soon after inter-course will prevent implantation.
NEEM OIL AS CONTRACEPTIVE FOR MEN
Neem leaf tablets ingested for one month produced reversible male antifertility without affecting sperm production or libido (Deshpande, 1980) (Sadre, 1984). In India and the United States, exploratory trials show neem extracts reduced fertility in male monkeys without inhibiting libido or sperm production (Sharma, et al, 1987).
In a test of neem’s birth control effects with members of the Indian Army, daily oral doses of several drops of neem seed oil in gelatine capsules were given to twenty married soldiers. The effect took six weeks to become 100 percent effective, it remained effective during the entire year of the trial and was reversed six weeks after the subjects stopped taking the capsules. During this time the men experienced no adverse side effects and retained their normal capabilities and desires. (Vietmeyer, 1992) There were no pregnancies of any of the wives during the period of the study.
However, some women became pregnant when their husbands were taking neem leaves (capsules or tea). It also shows that this contraceptive method is not 100% effective. Therefore, for the best results neem oil should be applied into vagina as a spermicide before intercourse.
As a male contraceptive take two times a day 1 capsule (1000 mg) with neem oil for 6 weeks to become fully effective. After 6 weeks without neem, full fertility should be renewed.
– Mittal A, Kapur S, Garg S, Pharma M, Upadhyay SN, Suri S, et al. et al. Clinical trial with praneem polyherbal cream in patients with abnormal vaginal discharge due to microbial infections. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynecol. 1995;35(2):190–191.
– Gp.Capt.K.C. Sinha and Lt. Col. S.S. Riar. 1985. Neem oil-an ideal contraceptive. Biological Memoirs 10(1 an 2):107-114.
– Gp. Capt. K.C. Sinha and Lt. Col. S.S. Riar. 1985. Neem oil—an ideal contraceptive. Biological Memoirs 10(1 and 2):107-114.
– Other antifertility effects of neem are summarized in Jacobson, 1988, pages 145-147.
– National Academy Press, NEEM, A TREE FOR SOLVING GLOBAL PROBLEMS.
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