If you aren't one of the masses who follows Dr. Oz, you may not have heard of the super herb neem. For the multitude of uses this natural plant can offer your family and home, it's time for that to change.
What is Neem
Neem refers to the fast-growing leafy tree flourishing in India and parts of Africa. All parts of the tree (leaves, seed, bark) have been used for centuries for ayurvedic healing purposes.
Uses for Neem Leaf
Internal: cleanse, spermicide, weight loss
Chances are, you could be hosting some unwelcome freeloaders in your intestinal tract and not even know it. Your upset stomach and hunger following a meal could be parasites. After traveling overseas recently, my stomach was queasy for days upon return to the states. I read about neem's antiviral and anti-parasitic benefits, and I used the USDA Certified Organic Veria Living Neem Cleanse ($24.95). Within days, my natural energy returned and the upset stomach subsided. The neem detox serves a dual purpose as a cleanse to rid the body of toxic build-up. It is not intended for long-term use.
The leaf is widely used as birth control in India for its spermicidal qualities. Do not use neem if you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant, as it can cause miscarriage and is not recommended for children.
According to the Veria Living website, neem leaf has additional potential benefits for maintaining blood sugar, aiding in weight loss, and boosting metabolism.
External: hydration, skin disorders
This healing herb is applied directly to skin for dryness and itchiness, or as an natural alternative to antibiotics for bacterial eruptions. Its anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities make it a mutli-purpose ointment for skin. Dr. Oz touts neem for anything from fungal infections to lice to dandruff.
For pure neem leaf oil from a trusted source, I prefer Certified Fair Trade Alaffia neem oil ($6.95). This product has a minor medicinal odor (along with a pungent bitter taste, though Alaffia does not recommend this particular product for internal use.)
Use a safe homemade neem oil spray in your garden to ward off insects, or purchase at your local natural foods store or the garden department of a big box home improvement retailer.
If you have a medical condition, consult your physician before using herbs for treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease