Neem – “Sacred Tree” of India
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on August 3, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Neem is one of the most important and revered herbs within Ayurveda, the ancient healing tradition of India, and has been used medicinally and ceremonially for over 5000 years. All parts of the “Sacred Tree,” as Neem is also known, have therapeutic value including its seeds, leaves, flowers and bark. A tea prepared from its leaves has traditionally been used to help maintain healthy blood sugar balance.
Neem is also an excellent antiparasitic and antifungal, especially against Candida. It is often combined with Pau d’Arco, a South American herb, for this purpose.
Small twigs from the Neem tree were once used (and still are) as a natural toothbrush; they can be chewed to soften them and then rubbed along the teeth and gums to clean and freshen. Neem extract can be found in many toothpastes today, for its antibacterial effects.
Along with the extracts made from its leaves and flowers, Neem oil is pressed from the seed of the fruit and can be used topically for psoriasis, acne, scabies, lice, and fungal infections of the skin & nail. Massage directly onto affected areas, including the scalp, twice daily.
Because of its amazing versatility, Neem has earned itself the nickname “Village Pharmacy,” for good reason!
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan