The medicinal benefits of Neem are spoken about in the Vedas, the world’s oldest book. In India’s ancient Ayurvedic Medical texts, the medicinal information about Neem spoken about in the Vedas is expanded upon in great detail. In Ayurvedic Medical texts it is explained that every part of the Neem tree has health-promoting benefits. What is clear from the above information is that the general population of India, for over 5000 years, has used Neem safely and effectively. Millions have smeared skin disorders with Neem leaf juice and oil, cleaned their teeth with Neem twigs, taken Neem tea as a tonic, and placed Neem leaves in beds, grain bins, cupboards, and closets to keep away bugs. In fact, the people of India call the Neem Tree “The Village Pharmacy”.
Traditional use of Neem in Ayurvedic Medicine:
Historically Neem has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including wounds, burns, sprains, bruises, earache, headaches, fever, sore throat, food poisoning, shingles, colds, flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, fungal infections, yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases, acne, skin diseases, heart diseases, blood disorders, kidney problems, digestive problems, ulcers, periodontal diseases, nerve disorders, malaria, fatigue, and a host of others. It is being closely studied for use in battling AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and allergies, and as birth control for both men and women. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-septic, and strengthens the body’s overall immune responses. See the two examples below: arthritis and malaria.
Traditionally Ayurveda has recommended the use of Neem leaf, seed, and bark, for reducing arthritic pain and inflammation and for halting the progression of the disease as well. In numerous clinical studies, the polysaccharides and other compounds of Neem leaf extract have produced a reduction in the inflammation caused by arthritis.
There are several reasons why the compounds in Neem work so well. It appears that these compounds make a number of adjustments to various mechanisms in the body, which explains their anti-inflammatory effects. There is an inhibition in the release of mediators of acute inflammation, an antihistaminic effect, and a modification in the functioning of the immune system response. This last effect is extremely important. Neem’s ability to change the way the immune system responds to arthritis, by reducing the generation of inflammation-producing chemicals, may also be the reason why it halts the progress of the disease and why it may hold the promise of an actual cure.
In the 1970’s an incurable form of malaria developed from mosquitoes that had become immune to the pesticides and produced a strain of malarial parasite that was chloroquine-resistant or immune to treatment. Neem was proven by modern scientific clinical studies to be effective against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria. Neem is, as we discussed earlier, a clinically proven anti-microbial. This means it is effective against bacteria, viruses, and funguses as well as parasites.
One of the most impressive accomplishments of Neem against parasites is its effectiveness against encephalitis. In a paper delivered to the American Chemical Society at its annual meeting in March 1993, R.O. Larson describes how an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in India was eradicated. This was accomplished by giving children two doses of crushed Neem leaves daily.
Herbal Neem Leaf – Get Yours Here.
In the 1920s formal research was begun on neem trees because it was noted that during periodic locust plagues, while acres of foliage were stripped bare, neem trees were left unscathed. Simply derived “tea” solutions made from the neem seed were effective in protecting foliage crops. Additionally, several compounds were isolated from the seeds of neem. One of these, azadirachtin, was found to both repel and disrupt the growth and reproduction of many destructive insect species. Unlike many synthetic insecticides, low doses of azadirachtin were found to have little or no mammalian toxicity. The range of insects affected by neem extracts is impressive and includes beetles, flies, mosquitoes, caterpillars, true bugs, locusts and grasshoppers, aphids, weevils, moths, and roaches.
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