Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Neem Leaves

The neem tree (Azadirachta indica), has been attracting worldwide attention due to its wide range of medicinal properties. Neem has been extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathic medicine and has become a cynosure of modern medicine.

I had five neem leaves washed and boiled and I drank it as tea.  It was bitter so I added about three teaspoons of Muscovado sugar.  A couple of stevia leaves would have been much preferable as sweetener but there wasn't any available.

The bitterness of the leaves, as with ampalaya and andrographis paniculata, is indicative of the neem's ability as a powerful blood purifier and detoxifier.  And that was the main reason for my drinking a mug of neem leaf tea, but only once a week because I do not want my blood to get too thinned out.

Neem elaborates a vast array of biologically active compounds that are chemically diverse and structurally complex. More than 140 compounds have been isolated from different parts of neem.  All parts of the neem tree-- leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots and bark have been used traditionally for the treatment of inflammation, infections, fever, skin diseases and dental disorders.

And according to livestrong.com, using neem leaves can help to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases, due to the tree's ability to kill or inhibit bacteria, fungi and viruses.  Also, that you can take neem to treat skin infections, stomach ulcers, fevers and respiratory ailments, as well as prevent or treat periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Hence, many studies support the claims that neem leaf and its constituents indeed exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycaemic, antiulcer, antimalarial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. 

In 2005 scientists published a research report, Medicinal Properties of Neem Leaves: a review. It is a compilation of existing scientific studies and clinical trials. It shows very impressively just how versatile the leaves are. 

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Suggested read: 

Philippine Daily Inquirer - Neem the most medically useful tree of all time

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