Health benefits of neem leaf
The neem tree, also known as the holy tree or the bead tree or Indian lilac, is native to India. Researchers have isolated at least 140 compounds from the leaves, bark, flowers, fruits and roots which make them all medicinal. The leaves contain vitamin C, nimbanene, nimbin and several types of flavonoids which give it anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-virus, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcer, anti-malarial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and anti-cancer properties. It is no wonder that the neem tree is considered to be a super-herb with many health applications. The word “neem” is Sanskrit and it means “perfect, imperishable and complete.” The following are the health benefits of neem leaves.
The leaves can eliminate toxic compounds and free radicals from the body, which prevents cancer and other diseases.
Neem leaves have been used to treat fungal, viral and bacterial infections such as warts, foot fungi and chicken pox for millennia. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it on the affected area. Alternatively, wash the affected area in neem water.
Taking neem capsules or neem tea daily strengthens the immune system. Through their antimicrobial properties which kill off bad bacteria, viruses and fungi and antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage, neem leaves boost the immune system. A strong immune system reduces the risk of many infections, cancer and heart disease. Neem tea may be prescribed to reduce fevers such as malaria fever.
Neem leaves have been used for thousands of years as a blood cleanser because of their antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-parasitic properties.
Neem leaves are good for fighting off liver ailments and improving liver health and this automatically improves digestive health. Daily consumption of neem leaves destroys bad bacteria and intestinal worms and cleanses the colon, facilitating smoother digestion.
Chewing neem leaves or taking the tea removes toxins and purifies the skin which results in a clearer skin. Dozens of nutrients and phytochemicals provide nourishment to the skin while fatty acids improve skin elasticity while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant action protects the skin from pollution, UV rays and other environmental factors. The result is radiant young-looking skin.
For conjunctivitis and other eye problems, the leaves are boiled, the water is allowed to cool completely and then used to wash the eyes. This reduces redness, irritation, or tiredness. Chewing neem leaves also improves eye health.
Traditionally, neem leaves were pounded to a paste, dabbed on the wound or insect bites a few times per day till the wound healed. It also worked for chronic ulcers.
Anti-dandruff and scalp health
Neem leaves can be boiled till the water turns green. The water is allowed to cool down and used to rinse the hair after washing. This kills off Malassezia, the dandruff virus, and improves the health of damaged under-nourished hair. The antioxidants protect the scalp from free radical damage. Other nutrients stimulate healthy cell division and enhance the growth of hair follicles.
Acne, rosacea and other skin disorders
The leaves are ground into a paste. The paste is applied to the affected areas till the acne dries out. Do the same for other eruptions and dark spots. Blend neem leaf paste with turmeric powder. Apply to the skin to treat eczema, psoriasis, itching, ring worms and some mild skin diseases.
Neem leaves are antimicrobial and this helps in oral health. Indians have traditionally used neem twigs to brush their teeth and chewed neem leaves to kill germs, and to prevent gum disease and plaque formation. Chewing neem also whitens the teeth. Nowadays neem is included in toothpaste.
Indian women used to crush the leaves and put the paste in their vaginal canal to prevent pregnancy through its spermicidal action.
Many other benefits
Other health benefits of neem leaf include treatment of loss of appetite, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stomach ulcers, nose bleeds and many other diseases.