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How health benefits of neem were found?

Neem is an evergreen plant abundantly present in India. However, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal are the other native places of Neem. [1] Centuries before Indian traditional medicinal systems including Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Amchi had recognized the medicinal value of neem.  Almost 700 formulations of these medicinal systems are using neem as an active ingredient. The wide medicinal value of need gradually recognized by other countries also. China, USA, France, Germany, Italy have also formulated neem containing herbal and natural products. Nowadays, neem becomes a common ingredient of many therapeutic products used for preventive and curative purposes. In 1992, the US National Academy of Science published the report, titled as “Neem–A Tree of Solving Global Problem” has recognized the health benefits of the neem plants.

Phytochemical present in Neem

The scientific name of Neem is Azadirachta Indica, which belongs to the Meliaceae family. Herbal plant researchers are curious to know about the secrete of the medicinal value of neem. Researchers evaluated the biochemical constituents of neem and identified a complex combination of bioactive compounds like Azadirachta, nimbolide, nimbidin, Nimbin, and limonoids. It was expected that this combination of phytochemicals effective to treat multiple diseases. Moreover, a purified form of polyphenolic flavonoids, such as Quercetin and ß-sitosterol was the first isolated from fresh neem leaf. Both of these compounds are well established due to their natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Phytochemical Present in Neem | HealthSoul

What is the Mode of action of Neem followed to prevent and cure diseases?

The exact mode of action of neem is still not completely understood. But the combination of unique phytochemicals and antioxidant property of neem may provide a wide range of disease prevention and curing ability.

Antimicrobial property of neem is significant due to it inhibits microbial growth by potentiality breaking down of the cell wall.  In-vitro research findings reported the antibacterial property of neem is effective against Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA.   

Regular wear and tear due to physical and mental exhaustion and exposure to chemicals and pollutants increase oxidative stress and induce different diseases.  The antioxidant property of neem has potent to scavenging the free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the different tissue structure. Nimbolide and Azadirachta are two phytochemicals present neem have the greatest antioxidant property. 

The anti-inflammatory property of neem obtains due to the regulatory effect against proinflammatory enzyme activities. 

Neem induces angiogenesis (cell death) and can modulate tumor suppressor gene activities, both of these activities provide cancer-preventive activity. [1]

How Neem Prevent & Cure Diseases | HealthSoul

Different Forms of Neem

Every part of the neem plant has some therapeutic benefits and widely used for different purposes. Following are detail description of different forms of neem:

Benefits of Neem Bark

In India, neem bark is used as a natural toothbrush. Much Indian chew neem bark to strengthen their gum and whiten their teeth. Antimicrobial property of neem able to prevent oral infection. The neem twig prevents oral plaque formation. [3] Neem bark has cooling, astringent, bitter properties, which used to treat loss of appetite, intestinal worm formation, cough. [4]

Benefits of Neem leaves

Neem leaf has great blood purifying property. It is effective to treat insect bites as it helps to remove toxins from the blood. It is a useful antioxidant. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of neem leaf reduce neuro-muscular pain. There are several health benefits of neem leaves as it can be used in multiple forms. The neem leaves can be used to make tea or juice. The neem leaves are boiled in water to make tea to get benefits of neem leaf tea. The neem leaves are bitter but due to benefits of neem leaves juice, it is used to improve metabolism and blood glucose.

Benefits of Neem fruit

Anthelmintic, antihemorrhodial, bitter, and purgative effect of Neem fruit also has great therapeutic value. [4]

Benefits of Neem flowers

It is useful for balancing body temperature. It helps to treat coughing by reducing respiratory mucus accumulation. This is a non-toxic and natural anthelmintic and astringent also.[4] Neem seeds

Gedunin and Azadirachta are two phytochemicals present in neem seeds give antioxidant property. Neem seeds are also well known for their anthelmintic, antileprotic, anti-poisonous property.  Both neem seed and fruit have antimalarial activity. [4]

Benefits of Neem oil 

Neem oil has a great medicinal property and widely used in herbal formulations used against skin diseases. It has potent bitter and anthelmintic properties. Neem oil has anti-dandruff and anti-lice benefits. It also prevents the greying of hair and baldness. [4]

Benefits of Neem powder

Dried neem leaf is crushed and prepared a powder. There are several health benefits of neem powder. Mix one teaspoon of this powder with equal quality of clarified butter and honey to control skin allergy. Similarly, neem seed powder mix with rock salt and alum helps to maintain tooth and gum health. There are benefits of neem powder for face and skin. A teaspoon of dried neem leaf powder mixed with the same quantity of ghee (clarified butter) and honey was known to help control skin allergies.

Mixture

Blending of different neem parts such as root, fruit, bark, flower, and leaves useful for blood diseases. External application of the paste of this blend help to treat many skin diseases like itching, burning sensation, wound healing. [4]

Different Forms of Neem | HealthSoul

USES AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF NEEM PLANT

Antimicrobial

  • The broad-spectrum antimicrobial property of neem is effective against bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoa infections. The antibacterial property of neem is specifically effective against food-borne pathogens. Neem bark and neem leaf have a potent antibacterial effect in low dose. However, at higher dose seed and fruits also act against oral bacterial growth. [1]
  • Antiviral effect of neem bark extract is effective against herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) infection. Whereas, the neem leaf extract anti-bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) activity. [5]
  • Multiple fungal growths including Aspergillus flavus, C. lunata, Alternaria solani, H. pennisetti, C. gloeosporioides, and Cladosporium retarded by treating with different neem formulations. [1]
  • The animal research study also showed neem has anti-malarial activity. [1]

Anti-inflammatory effect

Inflammation, pain, and raising of body temperature are interconnected. Neem seed oil and neem leaf have significant anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects. [1]

Anticancer property

Neem plant and its bioactive phytochemicals have multiple physiological actions, which inhibit cancer development. Malignant cell growth is suppressed by promoting apoptosis, reduces cellular proliferation, suppresses oncogene, and transcription factor and increasing the activity of tumor suppressor gene activity. Using neem oil gives natural protection against cancer risk. [1]

Accelerate wound healing process

The wound healing property of neem has checked on both excision and incision type of wounds. In both cases, the effective result obtained due to neem promotes neovascularization and modulates the inflammatory response. A research result also demonstrated that neem provides the tensile strength of the healing tissue in case of incision wound. [1]

Anti-diabetic property

There are health benefits of neem juice for diabetes. Neem significantly improves glucose tolerance and reduces intestinal glucosidase activity. Preclinical research found neem root bark extract is an effective treatment against diabetes.

Liver health

The liver is an important accessory organ plays many metabolic roles in our body. The liver enzyme alteration is one of the primary reason for liver disease. Certain enzyme level, such as alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, protein, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase, has significantly changed in the blood due to hepatotoxicity. But neem prevents these enzymatic changes in blood and also uphold the normal histopathology of the liver. 

Skin diseases

There are several health benefits of neem powder for face and skin. Many herbal cosmetic products contain neem due to its wide range of benefits. Neem is a common ingredient of many natural cosmetic preparations due to its multiple skin diseases preventive effect against acne, eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, and even stubborn warts. Neem oil has a deep skin cleansing property. It rejuvenates skin tissue and enhances skin beauty. [1]

Dental health protection

The benefits of neem toothpaste and neem datun are well known. Mouth rinse preparation also contains neem extract to obtain natural antigingivitic effect and effective to reduce periodontal indices. Anti-caries dental formulation also contains neem products, as the potent antimicrobial property of neem is effective against different strains of bacteria including S. mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, and Fusobacterium nucleatum.

Kidney protection

Kidney damage is common due to the increase in oxidative stress. The potent antioxidant property of neem effective to give protection to kidney against oxidative stress-induced damage and preserve normal kidney functioning. [1]

Neurological benefits

Chemical exposure, such as cisplatin, effective chemo-toxic substance exposure can cause neurological damage.  Neem acts as a neuroprotector and prevents neurological damage.  [1]

Boosts immunity

NEEM ACTS AS AN IMMUNOMODULATOR AND BOOSTS OUR NATURAL IMMUNITY BY IMPROVING ANTIBODY RESPONSE AGAINST THE DISEASE-CAUSING GERM.

SIDE EFFECTS OF NEEM

Neem has a mild sedative effect, which may induce fatigue conditions. Accurate dosing can avoid such condition. Experts also suggested avoiding taking conjunction with other sedative medications or medicine which induce sleep. 

When should you avoid neem?

  • A person who is under anti-diabetic or anti-hypertensive medications, should not take neem product without consulting physicians, as it can cause a sudden drop.  
  • Neem containing formulation should not be given to infants and toddlers.
  • Consult with a doctor before advising neem oil, paste or leaf containing formulation for patients having with kidney or liver problems.

Side Effects & Precautionary Measures of Neem | HealthSoul

References

  1. Mohammad A. Alzohairy. Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 7382506. 
  2. Azadirachta Indica. ScienceDirect.
  3. Kriti Malik. 10 Wonderful Benefits and Uses of Neem: An Herb That Heals. 
  4. Neem (Azadirachta Indica).
  5. Venugopalan Santhosh Kumar, Visweswaran Navaratnam. Neem (Azadirachta indica): Prehistory to contemporary medicinal uses to humankind. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 Jul; 3(7): 505–514.
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