Neem (Azadirachta indica)
Neem is an evergreen tree native to southern Asia. The herb is known for its drought resistance. It is a major herb in Ayurvedic medicine. This tree is antidiabetic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, kills internal parasites and can be used as a sedative.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally It can be taken for stomach ulcers, infections, vaginitis, and purifying of the blood and it is good as a boost for the immune system. It has diuretic properties and can also be useful for headaches, fever, sore throat, colds, flu, food poisoning, shingles, fungal infections, mononucleosis, hepatitis, yeast infections, digestive and kidney problems, malaria, AIDS, diabetes and cancer.
Externally Twigs are used to brush the teeth. It is a very effective form of natural dental care. Neem products can be effective for acne, eczema and maintaining skin elasticity. People suffering from chicken pox are encouraged to sleep on piles of the leaves. It has proven to be spermicidal.
Neem Oil has shown promise as a replacement treatment for the usual permethrin that is generally prescribed by doctors as a remedy for scabies. (Ref, Heinrich, M., et al.) Although permethrin is usually safe for the vast majority of people that use it, some are allergic to this insecticidal treatment. Neem oil is a good replacement treatment, especially for those who have the infection on their face close to sensitive areas like the eyes.
Other Uses The herb is used to make skin care like balms, creams, shampoo and soap. It has been used successfully against infestations of scabies mites, head lice and fleas on cats and dogs.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Leaves can be made into a tea with ginger to make a concoction that will fight intestinal worms. Neem oil mixed with mustard, coconut or other base oils is a very effective insect repellent.
Seeds, leaves, flowers, bark. The seeds, leaves, flowers and bark are all used for various remedies.
Follow directions when taking this herb. While it appears to be very safe, there have been a few cases of infants developing symptoms similar to Reye's syndrome when they consumed 5 ml of oil and died. Adults may experience diarrhea, stomach upset or nausea. Avoid taking it internally during pregnancy. It should not be used for more than two weeks at a time.
Preparation and Dosage
The traditional dose is 2 to 4 teaspoons of leaf juice or 2 to 4 grams of leaf powder 2 or 3 times per day. Leaf extract gel or toothpaste has been used effectively against plaque when used morning and night. 30 to 60 mg of freeze-dried bark is helpful for stomach ulcers. Topical creams are usually applied twice a day for skin problems or for vaginal infections.