Antelaea azadirachta, Arishta, Arishtha, Azadirachta indica, Bead Tree, Holy Tree, Huile de Neem, Indian Lilac, Indian Neem, Lilas des Indes, Lilas de Perse, Margosa, Margosa Tree, Margousier, Margousier à Feuilles de Frêne, Margousier d’Inde, Melia azadirachta, Neem Oil, Neem Tree, Melia azadirachta, Nim, Nimb, Nimba, Persian Lilac, Pride of China.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationNeem is a tree. The bark, leaves, and seeds are used to make medicine. Less frequently, the root, flower, and fruit are also used.
Neem leaf is used for leprosy, eye disorders, bloody nose, intestinal worms, stomach upset, loss of appetite, skin ulcers, diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), fever, diabetes, gum disease (gingivitis), and liver problems. The leaf is also used for birth control and to cause abortions.
The bark is used for malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases, pain, and fever.
The flower is used for reducing bile, controlling phlegm, and treating intestinal worms.
The fruit is used for hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract disorders, bloody nose, phlegm, eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, and leprosy.
Neem twigs are used for cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, low sperm levels, urinary disorders, and diabetes. People in the tropics sometimes chew neem twigs instead of using toothbrushes, but this can cause illness; neem twigs are often contaminated with fungi within 2 weeks of harvest and should be avoided.
The seed and seed oil are used for leprosy and intestinal worms. They are also used for birth control and to cause abortions.
The stem, root bark, and fruit are used as a tonic and astringent.
Some people apply neem directly to the skin to treat head lice, skin diseases, wounds, and skin ulcers; as a mosquito repellent; and as a skin softener.
Inside the vagina, neem is used for birth control.
Neem is also used as an insecticide.
How does it work?Neem contains chemicals that might help reduce blood sugar levels, heal ulcers in the digestive tract, prevent conception, kill bacteria and prevent plaque formation in the mouth.
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- 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. However, using a mouth rinse containing neem extract for 2 weeks does not appear to reduce plaque or gingivitis.
- Insect repellant. Early research suggests that applying extract of neem root or leaf to the skin helps repels black flies. Also, applying neem oil cream to the skin seems to protect against some types of mosquitos.
- Ulcers. Some research suggests that taking 30-60 mg of neem bark extract twice daily by mouth for 10 weeks helps heal stomach and intestinal ulcers.
- Psoriasis. Early research suggests that taking neem extract by mouth for 12 weeks, along with daily sun exposure and the application of a coal tar and salicylic acid cream, reduces the severity of psoriasis symptoms in people.
- Upset stomach.
- Breathing conditions.
- Head lice.
- Skin conditions and diseases.
- Heart disease.
- Birth control (contraception).
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyNeem is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for up to 10 weeks, when applied inside the mouth for up to 6 weeks, or when applied to the skin for up to 2 weeks. When neem is taken in large doses or for long periods of time, it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It might harm the kidneys and liver.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Children: Taking neem 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, coma, brain disorders, and death.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Neem 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” 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 neem.
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.
Reduced ability to have children (infertility): There is some evidence that neem can harm sperm. It might also reduce fertility in other ways. If you are trying to have children, avoid using neem.
Organ transplant: There is a concern that neem might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to prevent organ rejection. Do not use neem if you have had an organ transplant.
Surgery: Neem might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using neem at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Lithium interacts with NEEM
Neem might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking neem might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with NEEM
Neem might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking neem along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br/><br/> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with NEEM
Neem might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, neem might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.<br/><br/> Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
The appropriate dose of neem depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for neem. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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- 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. View abstract.
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- Bardhan, J., Riar, S, Sawhney, R., and et al. Neem oil-a fertility controlling agent in rhesus monkey. Indian J Pharmacol 1991;35(4):278-280.
- 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. View abstract.
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- 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. View abstract.
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- Govindachari, T., Sandhya, G., and Ganesh Raj, S. Simple method for the isolation of azadirachtin by preparative high-performance liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr 1992;513:389-391.
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- 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. View abstract.
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- Mukherjee, S. and Talwar, G. P. Termination of pregnancy in rodents by oral administration of praneem, a purified neem seed extract. Am J Reprod.Immunol. 1996;35(1):51-56. View abstract.
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- Mukherjee, S., Lohiya, N. K., Pal, R., Sharma, M. G., and Talwar, G. P. Purified neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extracts (Praneem) abrogate pregnancy in primates. Contraception 1996;53(6):375-378. View abstract.
- Pai, M. R., Acharya, L. D., and Udupa, N. The effect of two different dental gels and a mouthwash on plaque and gingival scores: a six-week clinical study. Int.Dent.J 2004;54(4):219-223. View abstract.
- Panda, S. and Kar, A. How safe is neem extract with respect to thyroid function in male mice? Pharmacol Res 2000;41(4):419-422. View abstract.
- Pandey, S., Jha, A., and Kaur, V. Aqueous extract of neem leaves in treatment of psoriasis vulgaris. Indian Journal of Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1994;60(2):63-67.
- Parshad, O., Singh, P., Gardner, M., Fletcher, C., Rickards, E., and Choo-Kang, E. Effect of aqueous neem (Azadirachta indica) extract on testosterone and other blood constituents in male rats. A pilot study. West Indian Med J 1994;43(3):71-74. View abstract.
- Parshad, O., Young, L., and Young, R. Neem (
- Paul, R., Prasad, M., and Sah, N. K. Anticancer biology of Azadirachta indica L (neem): a mini review. Cancer Biol Ther 9-15-2011;12(6):467-476. View abstract.
- Prakash, A., Tewari, R., and Mathur, R. Non-hormonal post-coital contraceptive action of Neem oil in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1988;23(1):53-59.
- Raizada, R. B., Srivastava, M. K., Kaushal, R. A., and Singh, R. P. Azadirachtin, a neem biopesticide: subchronic toxicity assessment in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2001;39(5):477-483. View abstract.
- Rasheed, A., Avinash Kumar, Reddy G., Mohanalakshmi, S., and Ashok Kumar, C. K. Formulation and comparative evaluation of poly herbal anti-acne face wash gels. Pharm Biol. 2011;49(8):771-774. View abstract.
- Reutemann, P. and Ehrlich, A. Neem oil: an herbal therapy for alopecia causes dermatitis. Dermatitis 2008;19(3):E12-E15. View abstract.
- SaiRam, M., Ilavazhagan, G., Sharma, S. K., Dhanraj, S. A., Suresh, B., Parida, M. M., Jana, A. M., Devendra, K., and Selvamurthy, W. Anti-microbial activity of a new vaginal contraceptive NIM-76 from neem oil (Azadirachta indica). J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71(3):377-382. View abstract.
- Sam-Wobo, S. O., Adeleke, M. A., Mafiana, C. F., and Surakat, O. H. Comparative repellent activities of some plant extracts against Simulium damnosum complex. Vector.Borne.Zoonotic.Dis. 2011;11(8):1201-1204. View abstract.
- Schmahl, G., Al-Rasheid, K. A., Abdel-Ghaffar, F., Klimpel, S., and Mehlhorn, H. The efficacy of neem seed extracts (Tre-san, MiteStop on a broad spectrum of pests and parasites. Parasitol.Res 2010;107(2):261-269. View abstract.
- Semmler, M., Abdel-Ghaffar, F., Al-Rasheid, K., and Mehlhorn, H. Nature helps: from research to products against blood-sucking arthropods. Parasitol.Res 2009;105(6):1483-1487. View abstract.
- Senanayake, M. P., Rupasinghe, S., and Dissanayake, P. V. Margosa (Kohomba) oil induced toxic encephalopathy following home remedy for intestinal worms. Ceylon Med.J 2009;54(4):140. View abstract.
- Sharma, S. K., Dua, V. K., and Sharma, V. P. Field studies on the mosquito repellent action of neem oil. Southeast Asian J.Trop.Med.Public Health 1995;26(1):180-182. View abstract.
- Sharma, S., Saimbi, C. S., Koirala, B., and Shukla, R. Effect of various mouthwashes on the levels of interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma in chronic gingivitis. J Clin Pediatr.Dent. 2008;32(2):111-114. View abstract.
- Siddiqui, B. S., Afshan, F., Gulzar, T., and Hanif, M. Tetracyclic triterpenoids from the leaves of Azadirachta indica. Phytochemistry 2004;65(16):2363-2367. View abstract.
- Singh, S. K., Bimal, S., Narayan, S., Jee, C., Bimal, D., Das, P., and Bimal, R. Leishmania donovani: assessment of leishmanicidal effects of herbal extracts obtained from plants in the visceral leishmaniasis endemic area of Bihar, India. Exp.Parasitol. 2011;127(2):552-558. View abstract.
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- Sinniah, D., Schwartz, P. H., Mitchell, R. A., and Arcinue, E. L. Investigation of an animal model of a Reye-like syndrome caused by Margosa oil. Pediatr.Res 1985;19(12):1346-1355. View abstract.
- Sinniah, D., Sinniah, R., Baskaran, G., Pathmanathan, R., Yamashita, F., and Yoshino, M. Evaluation of the possible role of glucose, carnitine, coenzyme Q10 and steroids in the treatment of Reye's syndrome using the margosa oil animal model. Acta Paediatr.Jpn. 1990;32(4):462-468. View abstract.
- Sivashanmugham, R., Bhaskar, N., and Banumathi, N. Ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest due to neem leaf poisoning. J.Assoc.Physicians India 1984;32(7):610-611. View abstract.
- Sundaravalli, N., Raju, B. B., and Krishnamoorthy, K. A. Neem oil poisoning. Indian J.Pediatr. 1982;49(398):357-359. View abstract.
- Talwar, G. P., Pal, R., Singh, O., Garg, S., Taluja, V., Upadhyay, S. N., Gopalan, S., Jain, V., Kaur, J., and Sehgal, S. Safety of intrauterine administration of purified neem seed oil (Praneem Vilci) in women & effect of its co-administration with the heterospecies dimer birth control vaccine on antibody response to human chorionic gonadotropin. Indian J.Med.Res. 1995;102:66-70. View abstract.
- Talwar, G. P., Raghuvanshi, P., Misra, R., Mukherjee, S., and Shah, S. Plant immunomodulators for termination of unwanted pregnancy and for contraception and reproductive health. Immunol.Cell Biol 1997;75(2):190-192. View abstract.
- Talwar, G. P., Shah, S., Mukherjee, S., and Chabra, R. Induced termination of pregnancy by purified extracts of Azadirachta Indica (Neem): mechanisms involved. Am J Reprod.Immunol. 1997;37(6):485-491. View abstract.
- Tewari, R. K., Pathak, S., and Prakash, A. O. Biochemical and histological studies of reproductive organs in cyclic and ovariectomized rats supporting a non-hormonal action for neem oil. J Ethnopharmacol 1989;25(3):281-293. View abstract.
- Tiwary, B. S. Neem leaf poisoning. J.Assoc.Physicians India 1985;33(12):817. View abstract.
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- Vanka, A., Tandon, S., Rao, S. R., Udupa, N., and Ramkumar, P. The effect of indigenous Neem Azadirachta indica [correction of (Adirachta indica)] mouth wash on Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli growth. Indian J.Dent.Res. 2001;12(3):133-144. View abstract.
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- Boeke SJ, Boersma MG, Alink GM, et al. Safety evaluation of neem (Azadirachta indica) derived pesticides. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;94:25-41. View abstract.
- Chattopadhyay RR, Sarkar SK, Ganguly S, et al. Hepatoprotective activity of Azadirachta indica leaves on paracetamol induced hepatic damage in rats. Indian J Exp Biol 1992;30:738-40. View abstract.
- Chinnasamy N, Harishankar N, Kumar PU, Rukmini C. Toxicological studies on debitterized Neem oil (Azadirachta indica). Food Chem Toxicol 1993;31:297-301. View abstract.
- Environmental Protection Agency. Azadirachtin (121701) Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil (025007) Fact Sheet. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/ingredients/ factsheets/factsheet_025007.htm.(Accessed 9 March 2005).
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- 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. View abstract.
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- Sinniah D, Baskaran G, Looi LM, Leong KL. Reye-like syndrome due to margosa oil poisoning: report of a case with postmortem findings. Am J Gastroenterol 1982;77:158-61.
- Sinniah D, Baskaran G. Margosa oil poisoning as a cause of Reye's syndrome. Lancet 1981;1:487-9. View abstract.
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