Neem: Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, and Side Effects

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Neem: Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, and Side Effects

Neem is an Indian tree that has leaves, bark, and a fruit. It has been used medicinally for centuries and contains various compounds with many benefits. It also has potential as an insecticide and organic pesticide. Neem has been said to be a natural bandage, antiseptic, hair conditioner, and an acne-fighting treatment. It’s no wonder it is considered an important part of the Ayurvedic medicine system in India. So what are these benefits?

Neem may help to relieve diarrhea due to worm infestation or constipation caused by other types of parasites. It may also be helpful in treating fungal infections that cause athlete’s foot, ringworm and vaginal yeast infections.

It is also helpful with skin rashes, wounds and sores. Neem can be used to reduce fevers caused by bacterial infections and mouth ulcers. It may also help to relieve symptoms of colds, coughs, and sore throats. Neem is also a systemic insecticide that can be used to keep insects away from the home and garden. But remember, it will not work on all insects. Some instances where it has been known to be effective are against mosquitoes, cockroaches (also known as palmetto bugs), ants and fleas.

Neem: Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, and Side Effects
Photo: Neem: Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, and Side Effects, Credit: Instagram @

Neem is a good way to get the R-Beta-carotene, which is a type of vitamin A that helps in wound-healing. It is also helpful for those who have difficulty swallowing vitamin B12. This may help with anemia (red blood cell deficiency) and also boost energy levels. It also helps to reduce cholesterol. Neem has a bitter taste and may stimulate digestion if taken with food. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is said to be helpful for rheumatism, arthritis and asthma.

Due to its potential toxicity, it is not recommended for children under the age of 14 unless under the guidance of a certified practitioner who is knowledgeable about using neem as an herbal remedy. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some people may experience a reaction from taking neem, so it’s best to start out with just one tablet at a time until you have determined that you are not allergic or sensitive to this herb’s effects before taking larger doses. If you do have a reaction, don’t take more of it, keep at the same dosage for a few days and then try again until you have found the right dose.

In addition to consuming neem leaves as part of the diet, it can be made into a syrup by mixing 40 mL of water with one teaspoon of fresh powder. It is recommended that one drink this before eating any food containing proteins such as meat or eggs. It is also said that one can mix 2 tsp of powdered neem leaves with 2 cups (500 mL) of water to make a tea. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes, then stir and drink.

The Benefits of Neem Leaf

Neem leaf is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. It can help treat, among other things:

  • Common colds
  • Skin conditions like acne and dandruff
  • Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm
  • Wounds and cuts including those from insect bites
  • Mouth ulcers and toothache
  • Eye conditions such as eye infection, styes, conjunctivitis and sty.

The benefits of neem leaf range from strengthening the immune system to fighting inflammation to treating skin problems. Neem leaf is also used for cooking in some cases, though this should be avoided if you are going to eat the food. The medicinal properties and antioxidant qualities in neem make it one of the most popular natural ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine.

Here are some of the most important benefits of neem leaf:

Anti-inflammatory properties

Benefits of Neem Flower
Photo: Benefits of Neem Flower, Credit: Instagram @

The anti-inflammatory properties in neem leaf help reduce inflammation, swelling and redness. This can be beneficial if you have any skin problem that is accompanied by inflammation or pain such as acne, dandruff, athlete’s foot, ringworm or styes. Anti-inflammatory properties also play a role in treating infections like toothache and sore throat.

Boosting the Immune System

Neem is reputed to have strong antioxidant properties. As a result it can protect cells from free radical damage. Compounds found in neem leaf are also said to help regulate the immune system which protects the body from infections, allergies and autoimmune disease. Neem is traditionally used for treating colds and flu as well as stomach upset and diarrhea.

Skin Care

The antioxidant properties in neem leaf make it an excellent for protecting skin from aging and sunburn. It is particularly great for your scalp because of its ability to treat dandruff, hair loss and other forms of hair damage caused by fungal infection or pollution. Neem oil can also be used as an insect repellant.


The astringent properties in neem leaf make it effective for treating wounds, cuts and other skin wounds such as those caused by insect bites. It can also reduce redness, pain and inflammation. This is why topical applications of neem oil are said to be effective in treating acne, pimples and boils. The wound healing properties in neem leaf make it great for treating dandruff and other fungal infections of the scalp as well as dry scalp or hair loss.


The anti-inflammatory properties in neem leaf can help treat acne by reducing inflammation. Astringent properties can help treat dandruff. Antioxidants and healing properties make it helpful for treating conditions like athlete’s foot, ringworm, styes and mouth ulcers.


Neem powder also has a host of uses in the kitchen. It is used to add flavor to traditional dishes in the Indian subcontinent and is a popular ingredient in chutney and pickle recipes. It is also used as an ingredient in some curries, soups, sauces and paan masala or chewing tobacco of India because of its cooling effect on the mouth.

Skin Irritation

People sometimes experience skin irritation because they are moving to neem from a product that is significantly potent. In some cases, topical application of the neem leaf can be very effective in helping with the condition. The anti-inflammatory properties in neem can help reduce swelling, redness and pain associated with acne and other skin problems.

Benefit of Neem Oil on Skin

Neem oil is a natural remedy made from neem seeds, which grow in India. It also helps with reducing skin inflammation and is good for acne-prone skin to avoid breakouts. The best thing about neem oil is that it can be applied topically, directly to the skin. It can also be used as a hair conditioner, especially on dry and frizzy hair. Some people even use this product as a mosquito repellent!

  • Applying neem oil topically may cause itchiness or redness of the skin at first due to its drying effect on the skin. But these are normal effects and will eventually subside. On the other hand, if you feel that something is not right, discontinue using the product.
  • Neem oil is very versatile. It can also be used as a sunscreen while at the same time it offers protection against sun damage and premature aging of the skin. It also helps to eliminate excess sebum, which means fewer whiteheads and blackheads on oily skin types.
  • Neem oil has antibacterial properties that help fight acne-causing bacteria. This can reduce redness and skin irritation caused by pimples or blackheads.
  • Neem oil contains properties that are good for acne-prone skin. It is rich in fatty acids and moisturizing agents that heal dry, irritated skin, and it also has antioxidants that help fight free radicals (skin-damaging molecules) from damaging skin cells.
  • Topical application of neem oil can be applied on the face, neck, and chest as well as on the back of the hands where there is a greater risk of wrinkles caused by sun damage. The best way to use neem oil is to apply it after washing your face with soap and water. You can even apply it while bathing because it will not be damaged by water. If your skin is too sensitive, you can mix a few drops of neem oil with moisturizer and apply it on the affected areas.
  • Applying neem oil helps fight the growth of bacteria that causes acne. Neem oil helps break down the waxy sebum that clogs pores and prevents skin cells from shedding properly. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness and irritation caused by acne. Neem oil helps to regulate excess sebum production, allowing skin cells to shed more efficiently which reduces blackheads and whiteheads (also known as comedones). This makes it an important part of many anti-acne topical preparations, especially for oily and acne prone skin types.
  • Neem oil can also be used as a hair conditioner because it helps heal dry and frizzy hair. It is important to note that some hair conditioners contain ingredients which may be harmful to your hair, so make sure that you read the labels before using them. While applying neem oil on your hair, do not rub it vigorously because this can cause damage to the strands. Instead, just apply it after you have towel dried your hair. You can also add a few drops of neem oil to your regular conditioner for best results.
  • Neem oil is both a cosmetic and health product. It has natural antibacterial properties that help fight acne-causing bacteria. This makes it an important part of many anti-acne topical preparations, especially for those with oily skin types. At the same time, it also has moisturizing and healing properties that can improve dry, irritated skin as well as fighting free radicals from causing premature aging of the skin by reducing the damage caused by these rogue molecules.

Side Effects of Neem Leaf

  • Side effects are possible with neem leaf. Withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting have been reported in people who stop taking the medication abruptly.
  • Neem leaves may cause allergic reactions in some people with known hay fever or hypersensitivity to plants. Mucosal contact may also cause severe irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach membranes.
  • A skin rash has been reported when the oil from Neem leaves seeped into a deep wound while bandaging it too tightly during a healing process. Drugs that increase stomach acidity may lead to more side effects due to increased absorption of neem oil into the bloodstream through the stomach lining as well as greater exposure of cellular tissue via direct contact on skin.
  • Neem may have some negative interactions with other drugs. Neem leaf has been shown to increase the blood levels of certain anti-malarial drugs, and therefore make their use more effective.
  • Other drugs that negatively interact with neem are antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, tetracyclines, erythromycin and clindamycin; antiviral medication such as acyclovir (Zovirax) and amantadine (Symmetrel); and antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral). The health care professional should consult with his current medications before using Neem.
  • Neem is most commonly used to prevent or treat fungal diseases like ringworm, jock itch and athlete’s foot. For skin conditions like dandruff, scalp psoriasis and rashes, it is also used for a condition known as alopecia areata (complete loss of hair). To treat ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin caused by the parasitic fungus, Trichophyton rubrum, neem is usually mixed with olive oil.

I do not use this herb for any type of disease but for its strong antimicrobial action on the skin . This really gives the skin a nice feel and appearance. I use it mixed with an oil such as olive, coconut etc. It can also be mixed into a paste and used on the scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Neem?

Neem trees grow in Asia, Africa and North America as well. They are primarily grown for their seeds for roasting or grinding into powder. The flowers of the neem tree are also believed to be medicinal. The leaves are used as a medicinal herb in both Asian and Western native medicine systems. Neem oil is also used in shampoos, soaps and toothpastes.

How Is Neem Used As Medicine?

Neem seeds are roasted and then boiled in water until they form a tea. The neem leaves are used as an ointment for head lice, scabies and other skin disorders. Neem oil can also be applied externally for fungal infections, pimples and other skin disorders. Traditionally, neem has been used to treat fevers, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis and leprosy in India. In the United States, neem is primarily used to treat acne and act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

What Is The Chemical Composition of Neem?

Neem contains over one hundred compounds that work together to help treat infections and other skin disorders. The compounds found most often in neem are nimbidin and azadirachtin. These compounds have the ability to prevent bacteria from attaching themselves to the skin. The antibacterial properties of neem help reduce acne and other skin disorders.

How Do I Use Neem?

While many users believe that neem oil will help clear up their acne, it should not be used by everyone who has acne. When using any kind of herbal remedy, you should check with a doctor before using it so that you can determine if it is safe for you. It is not safe for young children under the age of six. Keep in mind that it may take time for your body to adjust to using neem, but it should be used until it works.

How To Use Neem In The Skin?

Store neem in a cool, dry place where it can be away from direct sunlight. When you are ready to use it, mix 2 tbsp. of neem oil with 2 tsp. of coconut or olive oil in a small bowl and stir together thoroughly. Apply the mixture all over your skin and massage gently. Let the mixture sit on your skin for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, wash the mixture off with warm water and a mild soap. If you want some extra help, add a few drops of neem oil or another anti-acne product to your soap for added benefits.

How To Use Neem Tea?

In order to make the tea, combine 1 tbsp. of neem leaves with 1 cup of water in a small pan on low heat. Heat to a boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Strain the tea into a cup and drink it as hot as you like, several times throughout the day.

What Do I Do If I Get Neem In My Eyes?

Cleaning neem oil out of your eyes is easier if you are wearing contact lenses. If you are wearing contacts, simply remove them. For non-users, close your eyes and wash them with water for at least three minutes. It is recommended that you rinse your eyes with warm water until the irritation subsides.

What Are The Possible Side Effects of Neem?

When using neem, it is important to know what side effects could occur. Some of the most common side effects include stomach pains, nausea and headaches. In rare cases, neem has been known to cause skin rashes or other allergic reactions when applied to the skin. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use neem.

Is There A Way To Tell If Neem Is Working For Me?

Keep an eye out to see if your acne appears to be smaller or lighter in color. You may also have less oil on your skin after using neem, which is a great sign that you are improving. Keep in mind that it may take up to two months to notice a significant change in your skin and it could take up to four months of continuous use before seeing the best results.

Last Words

Today we learned about the history, use and benefits of Neem. A tree that grows in tropical climates and is widely used in traditional medicines to treat a variety of ailments. It is said to be an all-around detoxifier, a skin care product, and has been shown to fight cancer cells too!

In earlier days people would extract the oil from the fruit’s seed for use in food preparation- but it soon became clear that it was not just for taste. Referred as “nature’s toothbrush” because it can inhibit plaque buildup – also known for its properties as a natural cleaner (due to its ability to break down oils)

Neem was originally used as an insecticide back when conventional methods were a problem. Back in the day the only problem was that it had a really intense odor (to combat the pests, it was so strong that they had to bury the fruits) but this is not the case anymore.

Nowadays Neem is used for more than just a toothpaste- it has beneficial properties for your skin, hair, and even your internal organs. The reason why Neem is a great product to use because something as simple as brushing your teeth – you are also protecting yourself from bacteria buildup in your mouth (which leads to gum disease). Washing your face with Neem is another way it treats skin issues too!

Neem also has properties which help protect against diabetes and high cholesterol-something that western medicine lacks today.

A study was done on people who took the Ayurvedic medicine “Katha Gul” (with Neem and other herbs) and it showed that they were effective in producing a lowered fasting blood sugar level.

This is why everyone should include Neem in their diet- it’s also Keto friendly!