Family & Home 176 views Mar 14, 2019
Mkilifi : Neem Tree All Benefits Explained

What is Neem / Mkilifi ?

Mkilifi is a term used in Kenya but the international name is known as Neem. The Neem tree mostly grows on tropical regions and comes with many benefits to some cultures since the old days back! The tree grows tall and has many branches and leaves. Its branches can regrow when they are cut and it produce a watery liquid that is usually bitter in taste but if you tried whiskey, you can easily deal with it without a problem!

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Medicines from plants should, of course, be treated with the same caution as medicines from laboratories. Neem oil seems to be of particular concern. Consuming it, although widely practiced in parts of Asia, is not recommended. Doses as small as 5 ml have killed infants,18 and animal studies showed acute toxicity at doses as low as 14-24 ml per kg of body weight.19 It seems possible that this was caused by contaminants rather than by the oil itself. In Germany, toxicological tests using oil obtained from clean neem kernels resulted in no toxicity, even at a concentration of 5,000 mg per kg of body weight in rats. Nonetheless, caution is called for.

 

The leaves or leaf extracts also should not be consumed by people or fed to animals over a long period. There are anecdotal reports of renal failure in Ghanaians who were drinking leaf teas as a malaria treatment.

Health Benefits

Antibacterial Potential
Research published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal states that one of the most widely recognized benefits of neem powder, oil, leaves, tea, and every other derivative is its strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. This comes into play both internally and externally, which is why neem is considered to be such a general tonic for the immune system and as a simple way to keep your overall health better protected. It is commonly associated with treating skin conditions, but its effects are far more extensive than that!

 

Reduces Dandruff
A 2011 study on the medicinal properties of neem suggests that the antifungal and antibacterial properties of neem make it very popular in shampoos and scalp cleansers. This is because it can help the skin remain hydrated and eliminate dandruff while strengthening your hair. It also improves the health of your hair follicles due to its antioxidant content. In fact, it is even used in traditional medicines to stimulate hair growth and prevent male-pattern baldness.

 

Detoxifies the Body
Whether you are using neem powder, paste, leaves, consuming its extracts in supplements or in some other form, the active ingredients in this one-stop pharmacy tree will help to rid the body of toxins. Research conducted at the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina, USA states that neem stimulates the liver, helping eliminate toxins quickly and optimizing the body’s metabolic activities. A great deal of detritus accumulates on our skin every day, including germs, microbes, dust, and grime; neem paste can help neutralize these chemicals, pathogens, or dirt that can cause irritation or illness.

 

Treats Acne
In terms of treating acne, neem paste is observed to eliminate much of grease and bacteria that can exacerbate the condition. The antibacterial nature of neem also helps prevent future breakouts, while the antioxidants in it will help minimize scarring and keep the skin looking fresh and clean. It also has astringent properties, which reduces the chances of skin sagging or wrinkles and aging. This is due to the fatty acids in neem oil, as well as the high content of vitamin E.

 

Improves Gastric Health
Consuming neem has been directly connected with a reduction in inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps reduce ulcers and a wide range of other intestinal issues, such as constipation, bloating, and cramping. It can also be used as a quick healing antidote for stomach flu and other infections that can destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut.

 

Anti-cancer Properties
Studies based on animal models indicate that neem extracts can play a pivotal role in anti-cancer management. Research conducted by Mohammad A. Alzohairy (2016) showed that neem contains flavonoids and other compounds that potentially reduce cancer risk. Another study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 2005 (Subapriya R. et al.) states that ethanolic neem leaf extract also helps activate the tumor suppressor gene.

 

Exfoliating Properties
When neem paste is applied as a face mask, it works as an excellent exfoliant, and can also shrink the pore size, which will help prevent the development of blemishes and pimples.

 

Inhibits Fungal Infections
You can apply neem powder, neem paste or diluted neem oil directly onto infected areas of the body, including the Athlete’s foot. The antifungal effects of its active organic ingredients are rapid and highly efficient, leaving your immune system and skin intact.

 

Controls Diabetes
As per research published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, there is a connection between a lower demand for insulin in the body and the consumption of neem. Its chemical components optimize insulin receptor function and ensure that the body is receiving appropriate amounts of insulin, which protects against the development of diabetes. Furthermore, for diabetics, it can be used to minimize the dependence on insulin therapy.

 

Treats Malaria
As per a 2009 study in the Malaria Journal, neem acts as a natural mosquito repellant. There has been some unconfirmed research that its leaves can effectively treat malaria symptoms and minimize the danger of the disease. However, neem’s more common relationship with malaria is as a natural insect repellent that is nontoxic and highly effective in repelling mosquitoes, which are the main vectors of malaria.

 

Improves Oral Health
Neem is very popular as an ingredient in oral health products in the Indian subcontinent. Its antibacterial qualities make it ideal for eliminating the bacteria beneath the gums that cause periodontal diseases and halitosis (bad breath). Neem is a popular ingredient in mouthwashes and toothbrushes for precisely that reason, although the flavor’s not bad either!

 

Improves Reproductive Health
A collaborative study carried out by the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India and the Contraceptive Research and Development Program (CONRAD), Eastern Virginia Medical School, Virginia, USA suggests that neem seed extract has spermicidal properties. It is widely used as a natural spermicide and birth control agent, as it is likely to reduce the chances of conception for both men and women without harming them in a toxic way. It lowers fertility levels without impacting libido and can even help treat or prevent certain sexually transmitted diseases.


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