Traditionally Neem has been used against a wide variety of diseases which include heat-rash, boils, wounds, jaundice, leprosy, skin disorders, stomach ulcers, chicken pox, etc.
Modern research also confirms neem’s curative powers in case of many diseases and provides indications that neem might in future be used much more widely.
Rheumatism: Neem leaves have anti-inflammatory activity, similar to that of drugs such as phenyl butazone and cortisone. They can relieve pain and reduce acute pain edema. For rheumatism, tropical applications of a warmed Neem cream that contains Neem oil and perhaps a mild Neem tea will help lessen pain.
Hepatitis often-deadly disease can be transmitted through blood or by ingesting contaminated food or water, disease is helped by Neem. Recent studies indicate that Neem extracts can block infection by the virus that causes the disease.
Arthritis: Neem has a long history of relieving inflamed joints, supported by recent scientific studies.
Most anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, irritate the stomach and may be the major cause for upper GI bleeding. Ulcers sometimes occur as a result of taking too much of these over-the counter drugs. Neem is comparably effective, anti-inflammatory and does not adversely affect the stomach.
The active constituents in its leaves relieve pain by acting on the prostaglandin mechanism and significantly reduce pain & inflammation.
Neem can also help create a balance in the immune system, directly affecting the progression of arthritis.
Stress: Relatively new scientific findings indicate that Neem may even be useful for reducing anxiety and stress.
Neem’s anti-anxiety effect may be its ability to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain. Because it works well in small amounts, it could be safer than drugs currently used for stress.
Peptic ulcers and duodenal ulcers are treated well with Neem leaf extracts; nimbidin from seed extracts taken orally prevents duodenal lesions and peptic ulcers, and provides significant reductions in acid output and gastric fluid activity.
The herb promotes a healthy digestive system by protecting the stomach, aiding in elimination, and removing toxins and noxious bacteria.
Its leaves are often used to treat heartburn and indigestion.
Neem extracts are also used to treat gastritis.
Basing their studies on the ancient tradition of using Neem to purify the air surrounding sick people, two Indian researchers found that Neem smoke was successful in suppressing fungal growth and germination.
Neem’s stronger advantages is its effect upon the skin in general. It has been most helpful in treating a variety of skin problems and diseases including psoriasis, eczema and other persistent conditions.
According to a report from the National Research Council’s Ad Hoc Panel of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development, neem preparation from the leaves or oils can be used as general antiseptics. Because neem contains antibacterial properties, it is highly effective in treating epidermal conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
It is also used for treating septic sores, infected burns, scrofula, indolent ulcers and ringworm.
Indians historically bathed in neem leaves steeped in hot water. This is still considered a common procedure for curing skin ailments or allergic reactions.
Psoriasis is successfully treated with neem oil.
The oil moisturizes and protects the skin while healing the lesions, scaling and irritations.It can be used for extended periods of time without any side effects, is easy to apply and is relatively inexpensive.
Viral Diseases: In India, neem is also used to treat viral diseases such as small-pox, chicken-pox even many medical practitioners use a paste of neem leaves, rubbed directly on the infected skin, for these conditions.
The neem extracts absorb the viruses, preventing them from spreading to unaffected cells. Neem has also been shown to be effective against herpes virus and the viral DNA polymers of the hepatitis B virus.
Laboratory experiments have shown that neem has antibacterial characteristics as well. For example the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, a feared cause of food poisonings as well as of furuncles and abscesses, reacted to neem treatment. Also, German experiments proved that a neem seed extract with ethanol is effective against the herpes viruses.
Other Health Benefits
It is particularly useful for these conditions when applied directly to the skin. This is due in part to its ability to inhibit viruses from multiplying and spreading.
Chronic fatigue is considered to be caused by both viral and fungal infections. Neem, which can attack both, helps the body fight this debilitating syndrome.
Minor cuts, sprains and bruises are treated with Neem lotion, cream or leaf extract applied locally. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial attributes are soothing to these conditions.
Cancer: Throughout Southeast Asia Neem has been used successfully by herbalists for hundreds of years to reduce tumors. Researchers are now supporting these uses. Neem has been tested on many types of cancers, such as skin cancers, using Neem-based creams and lymphocytic cancer, using the herb internally.
In India, Europe and Japan scientists have found that polysaccharides and limonoids in Neem bark, leaves and seed oil reduced tumors and cancers and were effective against lymphocytic leukemia.
In Japan, several issued patents included hot water Neem bark extracts; these were effective against several types of cancer.
Several extracts were tested at different doses and were compared to standard anticancer agents. Many extracts were equal or better than the standard treatments against solid tumors.
Results of tests performed with a more purified extract of the bark produced even better results. Further studies using pure active compounds are hoped to produce even more impressive results.
In another study, one researcher used an extract of Neem leaves to prevent the adhesion of cancer cells to other body cells. If cancers can’t stick to other cells, the cancer can’t spread throughout the body and is more easily destroyed.
Neem’s success has been noticeably remarkable with skin cancers. A number of reports have been made by patients that their skin cancers have disappeared after several months of using a neem-based cream on a daily basis. Injections of Neem extract around various tumors have shown sizable reduction in a few weeks’ time.
Dental Care: People in both India and Africa have used Neem twigs as tooth brushes for centuries. Neem twigs contain antiseptic ingredients necessary for dental hygiene. Neem powder is also used to brush teeth and massage gums.
In Germany many researchers have shown that Neem extracts prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. Infections, tooth decay, bleeding and sore gums have all been treated successfully with daily use of Neem mouth rinse or Neem leaf extract added to the water.
Some people have reported a total reversal of gum degeneration after using Neem for only a few months.
More than a disease that requires change of diet, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people ages twenty-five and seventy-four; it also damages nerves, kidneys, hear and blood vessels; it may even result in the loss of limbs. Incurable, it can be treated in a variety of ways.
One recommendation is to take one tablespoon (5ml) of Neem leaf juice daily on an empty stomach each morning for three months.
An alternative is to chew or take in powder form ten (10) Neem leaves daily in the morning.
Heart Disease: Major causes of a heart attack include blood clots, high cholesterol, arrhythmic heart action and high blood pressure. Neem has been helpful in conditions to reduce clotting, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, slows rapid or abnormally high heartbeat and inhibits irregular heart rhythms.
Some compounds may produce effects similar to mild sedatives, which reduce anxiety and other emotional or physical states that may prompt a heart attack.
Malaria: Neem has been shown to be effective in a number of ways against this deadly disease. Both water and alcohol based Neem leaf extracts have been confirmed as effective. It has been shown to block the development of the gamete in an infected person.
Neem leaf extract greatly increases the state of oxidation in red blood cells, which prevents normal development of the malaria virus.
Gedunin and quercetin, compounds found in the leaves, are also effective against malaria.
The plant also lowers the fever and increases one’s appetite, enabling a stronger body to fight the parasite and recover more quickly.
Even though Neem may be effective against the parasites that carry malaria, it has not been shown to prevent the malaria infection once it’s in the body.