Benefits of neem for skin and body

by | Jun 7, 2024 | Diet & herbs, Featured blog post

Neem (Azadirachta indica, Latin) (Margosa Tree, English) is a tree mostly found in tropical and semitropical regions such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, known and used for managing many ailments, including urinary disorders, skin diseases, burns, intestinal worms, and so much more.

Neem is a versatile powerhouse, boasting antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potent ingredient for helping maintain healthy skin. Its unique composition, enriched with palmitic, linoleic, and oleic acids, further amplifies its skincare benefits. This versatility is evident in the popularity of neem oil in the West, where it is widely used in skincare and beauty care products. A 2013 study highlighted the efficacy of neem extract in treating a range of skin ailments, including:

  • Acne
  • Help reduce acne scarring
  • Stimulate collagen
  • Help dry skin and wrinkles
  • Heal wounds
  • And minimize warts/moles

Neem in ayurvedic medicine

In ayurvedic medicine, every part of the neem tree, from its leaves and flowers to its seeds and bark, can be used. Neem is renowned for its detoxifying properties and ability to balance the three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. In translation, that means the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and urinary systems, as well as the plasma, blood, and fat(adipose) dhatus (tissues). Different parts of the neem tree are often used for different things. For example, the bark is often used to help with kapha dosha, and the leaves are often used to help balance vata disorders and to remove ama, i.e., (loosely translated as) “toxins” from the body. The oil taken from the seed is used to help manage skin problems.

Neem for the body

While neem is gaining fame for its skincare properties, it also holds antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties as well, which are known to promote internal health, including:

  • Oral health: The Neem bark and oil have been used for centuries to help address oral and gum disorders.
  • Liver health: The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in neem can possibly protect against oxidative stress that is known to cause free radicals.
  • Immunity boost: Thanks to its antioxidants, antifungal, and antibacterial abilities, neem can work well and help protect against viruses like sore throats and colds.
  • Manage diabetes: Studies found neem leaves host flavonoids and other chemical elements that boost the pancreas, helping regulate blood sugar.
  • Brain health: Full of antioxidants, neem may help protect the brain by allowing better ascorbic acid (vitamin C) absorption and the lipid peroxidation process.
  • Body/blood detox: Neem helps promote blood circulation, thus aiding in purifying the blood of toxins.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer: Ongoing research has hinted that the components in neem have cancer cell death-causing abilities.
  • Prevent/manage infections: When taken orally, neem can help prevent the overgrowth of harmful microbes, helping the body fight against them.
  • Help heal ulcers/promote gut health: Neem’s anti-inflammatory abilities can help heal certain ulcers, while if taken for a while, its antibiotic properties can aid in ridding the gut of bad bacteria that can cause most intestinal distress.
  • Hair health/lice: Neem has healthy hair benefits by helping condition the scalp and promoting hair growth. It has even been used to treat lice.
  • It’s even been proven to help in treating the coronavirus.

How to take neem

Neem can be taken in various ways depending on what you are using it for. There are syrups, oils, and juices to take internally. It can often be added to already manufactured products, such as hair shampoos, face masks, and toothpaste or mouthwashes.

Overall, neem is found to be safe to use topically. If using pure neem oil, it’s best to dilute it with a carrier oil or get one that is premade. To be safe, always start with a patch test. If you’re going to take it orally, always consult with your physician, especially if you are on any medications and or diabetic, as neem could lower your blood sugar too low. 

Who knew a tree could hold all this power?

 

Love products with neem? Check out our premium ayurvedic, certified organic self-care collection of teas and skin care. Our Amla C facial toner and spray is a well-balanced formula with neem and other synergistic herbs.

 

Click here to learn more about our guest author, Janis Beck.
Reviewed and edited by Petra N., CAP, NAMA

This post aims to give you the ayurvedic perspective on health and is not meant as medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare professional about your specific situation. 

Image by Xiomara Bustamante, original Red Pantz image. All rights reserved.

 

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