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Neem is commonly found in South Asian countries including India, Nepal, and Bangladesh and is used for treating many health conditions. Traditional medicinal systems such as Ayurveda, Unani, and Chinese make use of neem to treat many ailments. (1)
Neem contains bioactive compounds such as azadirachtin, nimbolinin, nimbin, nimbidin, nimbidol, sodium nimbinate, gedunin, salannin, and quercetin, which give it its antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic properties. (1)
Health Benefits of Neem Juice
Consuming neem juice offers the following health advantages.
1. Manages diabetes
The bioactive compounds present in neem have strong antidiabetic properties that help reduce high blood sugar, inflammation associated with diabetes, and oxidative stress. (2)
Studies have shown that neem can also improve insulin sensitivity and can mimic the function of metformin, a popular drug used to reduce insulin resistance. (3)
2. Boosts immunity
3. Promotes oral health
Some dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash contain neem extracts. Neem twigs are also used as a toothbrush.
Neem compounds are antibacterial and can be effective in cleaning the mouth. (5)
In a study of school teachers, the use of neem gel significantly reduced dental plaque, gingivitis, and bacterial count. (6)
4. Maintains skin health
The anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties of neem are useful as a potent topical agent.
In animal models, neem extracts prevented the appearance of wrinkles due to UV exposure. (7) In addition to being useful for improving the appearance of the skin, it can also be used as a remedy against skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, septic sores, ulcers, and burns. (8)
You can drink neem juice, or prepare a face mist or toner by diluting neem juice with water and then apply it to your skin. Neem oil can also be used as a spot treatment on affected areas.
5. Fights dandruff
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of neem make it a useful remedy against dandruff. Lab studies have found neem extracts to inhibit the growth of dandruff-causing fungus. (9)
Simply rinse your hair with neem juice, or mix neem oil with coconut oil and use the mixture as a hair mask.
6. Kills head lice
A head louse infestation is a troublesome condition, especially in school-going children. While there are many shampoos and hair rinses available, natural remedies are always preferable.
Neem-based shampoos have been found to reduce the number of lice at all stages of growth even with a single treatment. In addition, neem shampoos were also effective in stopping the growth of eggs, making neem an effective “ovicidal” agent. (10)(11)
7. Kills parasites
The ability of neem to be an effective antimalarial agent has been reported in Ayurveda. (8)
Neem was also found to have the ability to make the host body immune against the parasite that causes Chagas disease, a disease that cripples patients, making them unable to move or live life properly. (8)
Neem leaf possesses antiparasitic properties, and its juice can be effective in ridding the body of parasitic infection. (12)
8. Aids in the body’s detoxification
The antioxidant property of neem gives it the ability to remove free radicals from the body that can cause diseases and harm the body’s organs. The polyphenols in neem such as nimbin and azadirachtin are the most antioxidant-rich. (13) This property of neem can also make it cytotoxic, which means it fights against cancer cells.
Experts say the use of dried neem powder is more beneficial for its antioxidant property.
- 9 Reasons Why Detoxification Is Good for Health
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9. Fights cancer
All parts of the neem plant such as the leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruit show cancer-protective properties. They have been studied extensively as anticancer agents as they can not only stop the growth and spread of cancer cells but also cause cell death. (14)
Consuming half a cup of neem juice can be protective against cancer.
How to Make Neem Juice
Neem juice can be easily prepared at home.
- Clean a handful of neem leaves under water.
- Blend the leaves with 1 cup of water until it turns into a paste.
- Strain the mixture to remove the pulp.
- Drink the juice.
You can also add flavorings to neem juice such as lemon juice, jaggery, or honey.
You can also dry neem leaves under the sun and powder them. This powder can be added to juices and smoothies.
Who should avoid neem juice?
Since neem juice increases immune activity, people who have autoimmune diseases should avoid it as their symptoms can worsen with a heightened immune system.
People who often suffer from low blood sugar should also avoid neem juice as it is a blood sugar-lowering agent.
Is neem safe for children?
In children, the consumption of neem oil has been known to cause kidney toxicity, and in one case, neem oil caused vomiting, seizures, metabolic acidosis, and toxicity of the liver. (15)
Neem is an overall great natural remedy for varying health conditions. It is rich in many bioactive compounds that give it the ability to treat health conditions such as diabetes, protect the skin and hair against infections, maintain oral health, boost immunity, and fight against cancer.
Consume half a cup of neem juice daily for its benefits, or add 2 tsp of neem powder to a glass of water or smoothie for the same effect.