Neem – the “Village Pharmacy”
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on May 21, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Neem is one of the most important and revered herbs within Ayurveda, the ancient healing tradition of India. Extracts from the “Sacred Tree,” as Neem is also known, have been used medicinally and ceremonially for over 5000 years.
Called the “Village Pharmacy” for good reason, Neem finds usefulness in treating a wide variety of ailments ranging from skin conditions to blood sugar imbalances. All parts of the Neem tree, including its seeds, leaves, flowers and bark, have therapeutic value.
Neem is an excellent antiparasitic and antifungal, especially against Candida, and works very well combined with Pau d’Arco for this purpose. A tea prepared from its leaves has traditionally been used to help maintain healthy blood sugar balance in the management of diabetes.
Some may be familiar with Neem in toothpaste, where it’s included for its antibacterial effects. 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 oil, which is pressed from the seed of the fruit, is used in skin care products and cosmetic preparations such as soap & shampoo. The oil can be used topically for acne, scabies, lice, and fungal infections of the skin & nail (excellent with Oregano essential oil for topical infections). Neem oil is also excellent massaged onto areas of the body affected by psoriasis, including the scalp.
Neem – the “Village Pharmacy” – and then some!
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