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Neem is lesser-known in the Western world, but its powerful health and longevity benefits have been appreciated in Asia and India for centuries. Here’s why you should get to know more about it.

Where, what and how?

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, neem, from the neem tree is thought to have originated in Assam and Burma.  The tree has also been grown in India for thousands of years.

It was introduced to Africa earlier this century and is now well established in at least 30 countries. Today it can be found in  Fiji, Mauritius, the Caribbean, and many countries of Central and South America.  In the United States, small plantings are prospering in southern Florida.

Apart from its medicinal qualities, the tree’s leaves and bark have also become an important provider of both fuel and lumber.

Longevity “good health” benefits

Indians have used neem for many years. Indeed, neem in  Sanskrit, is arista. This means something that’s perfect, imperishable and complete. Neem leaves, seeds, roots and bark also contain important compounds that have  longevity properties. The tree also denotes ‘good health‘ in Indian Ayurveda.

For Eating

According to Plants for the Future  you can eat neem fruit, leaves, flowers and sap. Despite their bitterness, young leaves are cooked and eaten in India. They are eaten raw or fried along with other vegetables. Flowers are used for flavour; but are also bitter unless cooked.

Ripe or fermented

Fully ripe fruit pulp is eaten raw or cooked and used for drinks. Refined oil from the seeds can be used for cooking.

A fermented alcoholic drink is made from the sap of the branches.  Some may even prepare the fruit as a dessert or lemonade-type drink. Interestingly, neem can also be used as famine food as the leaves contain 15 % protein, so can provide vital support.

Neem Tea

Neem is a very healthy tea drink. Called Indian lilac tea, it’s a  herbal infusion made from the whole or ground dried leaves of the neem tree.

Because neem tea tastes bitter on its own, it is  better blended with other herbs and ingredients to counter this bitterness.  Some neem teas are blended with black or green tea.  The exact flavor will depend on the blend but expect a bitter note from the neem leaves.
The good news is, that neem tea is caffeine free.

How to Prepare Neem Tea

Neem tea is a popular refreshment among communities who recognise its benefits. It can be made from fresh leaves. However, it’s more commonly made from dried whole or ground leaves.

natural neem tea

It’s super healthy, but is very bitter. Due to this bitter taste, neem tea leaves are usually blended with black or green tea or herbs and spices like cinnamon. Blending the tea with sweet and spicy flavors helps to balance the bitterness of the leaf.

Homemade blend

You can make your own blend at home. All you need to do is add ingredients like cardamom, fennel, and/or orange peel, or using a ratio of 1 part neem tea to 1 part black, green, or rooibos tea. You can counterbalance the bitterness by adding honey or sugar and lemon juice.

Neem leaves are also sold as a fine powder. A small amount of powder should be stirred into warm or cool water and mixed well before consuming it. Always consult the packaging for the recommended dosage.

A Natural Anti-Oxidant

Neem has good anti-aging properties. Due to its antioxidant properties,  this extract protects the skin from harmful UV rays, pollution and other environmental factors. The vitamins and fatty acids in neem will improve and maintain the elasticity of the skin, reducing wrinkles and fine lines. This makes you and your skin look rejuvenated and youthful.

Anti-septic properties

In India, natural neem is found in many popular consumer goods. Neem oil, for instance, has been a major ingredient in soaps for at least 50 years. Its antiseptic properties have been used  in the manufacture of medicated soaps and toothpastes.

It’s also beneficial in fighting against fungal infection. Anti-bacterial properties keep harmful bacteria and fungi at bay, protecting the skin from skin related diseases.

A Natural Detoxificant

Neem is considered to be a pharmacy in its own right in India, where every part of the plant is used medicinally. It contains a number of medically active substances.  This includes meliacins, triterpenoid bitters, tannins and flavonoids .

A natural spermicidal

It’s hardly surprising that it’s one of the most important detoxicants in Ayurvedic medicine.  That’s because it is a bitter, tonic herb clears away toxins, reduces inflammation, lowers fevers, promotes healing and generally improves bodily functions. It also destroys a wide range of parasitic organisms. And believe it or not, it is even a spermicidal. Some studies have shown that it acts as a natural contraceptive.

13 reasons you need this natural neem

1. Personal Care

Neem tree extracts have been a part of many home remedies that Indians have been following since time immemorial. For centuries Indian communities have used it to keep their hair long and shiny and their skin clear.

Neem is used in products such as bath powders, shampoos, skin lotion, toothpaste.

Natural neem is also an excellent source of moisturizer for the skin. By applying neem oil, its fatty acids and vitamins moisturize and condition your skin, making it clearer and youthful. The vitamin E in neem oil repairs the damaged skin and also limits the effect of the environment that can lead to skin damage. 

2. Stretch Marks and Scars

Neem helps heal wounds without leaving any ugly scars. It also prevents septic infections. Neem is  also used to heal wounds because of its antiseptic properties. Apply a small amount of neem oil onto the wounds and on scars, daily. The oil contains the necessary fatty acids, which also promote wound healing and make your skin healthy.

3. Healthy Teeth and Gums

Chewing neem twigs for dental hygiene and care is an age-old Indian tradition. In Indian households, people used to brush their teeth using twigs of neem.

Dental plaque

Early research suggests that applying neem leaf extract gel to the teeth and gums twice daily for 6 weeks might reduce plaque formation. It also might reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth that can cause plaque.

teeth [longevity live]

A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis)

Most research shows that applying a gel containing the leaf extract or using a neem mouthwash can reduce gingivitis in some people. However it doesn’t seem to be as helpful as chlorhexidine mouthwash and it may not be effective for people with long-standing gingivitis.

4. Stronger, longer hair

As mentioned above, neem also helps in strengthening hair quality and promotes growth of hair. The paste is used as a hair conditioner. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, the preparation is an excellent way to curb dandruff. This makes hair follicles stronger, encouraging hair growth too.

5.  Treating Skin disorders

Perhaps one of the real benefits of neem is in its use for the skin. It is because it has a detoxifying property. It is used to treat eczema and other skin infections.

Psoriasis sufferers have achieved positive results from using neem extract.  Indeed. early research is promising. It suggests taking neem extracts by mouth for 12 weeks, along with daily sun exposure and the application of coal tar and salicylic acid cream, reduces the severity of psoriasis symptoms in people.

Neem’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce acne.

It will help relieve skin dryness, skin itchiness, redness and prevent pimples and skin blemishes.

6. Blood sugar management

Natural neem contains chemicals that might help reduce blood sugar levels.

7. Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties 

The leaves are used to treat fungal and bacterial infections. Natural neem can be used to treat warts as well as chicken pox. Either the paste is applied on the affected area or the person is made to bathe in neem water. It can also treat foot fungi.

 8. Natural insect repellent

Early research suggests that applying  the extract of neem root or leaf to the skin helps repel black flies. Also, applying neem oil cream to the skin seems to protect against some types of mosquitos.malaria | Longevity LIVE

As the herbal extract is effective against mosquitoes, it may also have anti-malarial properties. Malaria is a parasite that some mosquitoes carry.

8. Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers. Some research suggests that taking 30-60 mg of neem bark extracted twice daily by mouth for 10 weeks helps heal stomach and intestinal ulcers.

9. Diabetes

There is some evidence that neem can lower blood sugar levels and might cause blood sugar to go too low. If you have diabetes and use neem, monitor your blood sugar carefully. It might be necessary to change the dose of your diabetes medication.

10. Increases immunity

Natural neem is a strong antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that may influence the development of some conditions. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Neem tea is also widely prescribed to reduce fever, especially from malaria.

The growing popularity of neem has resulted in it becoming more commercially available. You can buy neem leaf capsules for better immunity.

11. Managing Lice 

Clinical research shows that applying a natural neem extract shampoo to the scalp once completely cures head lice in children.

 12. Organic Farming with natural neem

The popular neem seed cake, which is basically a neem seed residue which is left after oil extraction, is extremely beneficial for enriching the soil. It also brings down nitrogen loss and works as a nematicide.

13. Pet Health

Some manufacturers add the extract to animal shampoos to repel ticks and fleas.  And is added to cattle feed or grain to repel pests and parasites.

Sign | Longevity Live

Special Precautions & Warnings

According to not everyone should be using neem.


Taking the seeds or oil by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE for children. Serious side effects in infants and small children can happen within hours after taking neem oil. These serious side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, blood disorders, seizures, loss of consciousness, comabrain disorders, and death.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Oil and neem bark are LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. They can cause a miscarriage.

Not enough is known about the safety of need during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Auto-immune diseases

Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Neem might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using it.


There is some evidence that neem can lower blood sugar levels and might cause blood sugar to go too low. If you have diabetes and use neem, monitor your blood sugar carefully. It might be necessary to change the dose of your diabetes medication.

Reduced ability to have children (infertility)

There is some evidence that it can harm sperm. It might also reduce fertility in other ways. If you are trying to have children, then do not use it.

Organ transplant

Neem might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to prevent organ rejection. Do not use the preparations if you have had an organ transplant.


Neem might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

The Bottom Line

There are many positive reports and studies proving the benefits of natural neem in terms of it’s overall health and longevity benefits. Its natural healing abilities can help households the world over.


  • Plants for the Future:
  • Neem. A tree for solving global problems: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine,
  • Neem Tea Benefits
  • Times of India: Benefits of Neem
  • Medical News Today. Neem:
  • Neem Special Precautions & Warnings:  htpps://

Academic Papers

  • Pai MR, Acharya LD, Udupa N. Evaluation of antiplaque activity of Azadirachta indica leaf extract gel–a 6-week clinical study. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;90:99-103.
  • Semmler M, Abdel-Ghaffar F, Gestmann F, et al. Randomized, investigator-blinded, controlled clinical study with lice shampoo (Licener®) versus dimethicone (Jacutin® Pedicul Fluid) for the treatment of infestations with head lice. Parasitol Res 2017;116(7):1863-70.
  • Upadhyay SN, Dhawan S, Garg S, Talwar GP. Immunomodulatory effects of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil. Int J Immunopharmacol 1992;14:1187-93.
  • Ali BH. Toxicology of Azadirachta indica. J Ethnopharmacol 1994;42:71-2.
  • Balappanavar AY, Sardana V, Singh M. Comparison of the effectiveness of 0.5% tea, 2% neem and 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwashes on oral health: a randomized control trial. Indian J Dent Res. 2013;24(1):26-34.
  • Biswas K, Chattopadhyay I, Banerjee RK, Bandyopadhyay U. Biological activities and medicinal properties of neem (Azadirachta indica). Curr Sci 2002;82:1336-45.
  • Etebu E, Tasie AA, Daniel-Kalio LA. Post-harvest fungal quality of selected chewing sticks. Oral Dis 2003;9:95-8.
  • Halim EM. Lowering of blood sugar by water extract of Azadirachta indica and Abroma augusta in diabetes rats. Indian J Exp Biol 2003;41:636-40.
  • Jalaluddin M, Rajasekaran UB, Paul S, Dhanya RS, Sudeep CB, Adarsh VJ. Comparative evaluation of neem mouthwash on plaque and gingivitis: a double-blind crossover study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017;18(7):567-71.
  • Khillare B, Shrivastav TG. Spermicidal activity of Azadirachta indica (neem) leaf extract. Contraception 2003;68:225-9.
  • Nishad A, Sreesan NS, Joy J, Lakshmanan L, Thomas J, Anjali VA. Impact of mouthwashes on antibacterial activity of subjects with fixed orthodontic appliances: a randomized clinical trial. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017;18(12):1112-6.
  • Abdel-Ghaffar, F. and Semmler, M. Efficacy of neem seed extract shampoo on head lice of naturally infected humans in Egypt. Parasitol.Res 2007;100(2):329-332.
  • Balappanavar, A. Y., Nagesh, L., Ankola, A. V., Tangade, P. S., Kakodkar, P., and Varun, S. Antimicrobial efficacy of various disinfecting solutions in reducing the contamination of the toothbrush — a comparative study. Oral Health Prev.Dent. 2009;7(2):137-145.
  • Bhaskar, M. V., Pramod, S. J., Jeevika, M. U., Chandan, P. K., and Shetteppa, G. MR imaging findings of neem oil poisoning. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010;31(7):E60-E61.
  • Dua, V. K., Nagpal, B. N., and Sharma, V. P. Repellent action of neem cream against mosquitoes. Indian J.Malariol. 1995;32(2):47-53.
  • Iyyadurai, R., Surekha, V., Sathyendra, S., Paul, Wilson B., and Gopinath, K. G. Azadirachtin poisoning: a case report. Clin Toxicol.(Phila) 2010;48(8):857-858.
  • Jones, I. W., Denholm, A. A., Ley, S. V., Lovell, H., Wood, A., and Sinden, R. E. Sexual development of malaria parasites is inhibited in vitro by the neem extract azadirachtin, and its semi-synthetic analogues. FEMS Microbiol.Lett. 7-15-1994;120(3):267-273.


Gisèle Wertheim Aymes

Gisèle Wertheim Aymes

Gisèle is the owner of the Longevity brand. She is a seasoned media professional and autodidactic. Her goal? Sharing the joy with others of living in good health, while living beyond 100, You can follow her @giselewaymes on Twitter and Instagram or read her Linked-In profile for full bio details.


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