Azadirachtaindica also known as Neem is a tree from the mahogany family.Neem is a very popular Complementary and Alternative Medicine remedy because of the immeasurable medicinal properties that it has. It is used as the major ingredient in most home remedies. It hails from the sister science of Yoga and Meditation i.e. Ayurveda. Commending neem’s medical properties, there are numbers of Sanskrit names that have been coined by the Ayurveda acharyas.
Benefits of Neem
Neem is a traditional herbal medicine treatment that helps:
- Nourishthe skin
- Encourage fat metabolism
- Support healthy GI tract
- Assist a healthy respiratory system
- Support the immune system
- Help with a clear complexion and healthy skin
As herbal medicine treatment, Neem has a bitter taste, giving it a more powerful cooling energy. The cooling principle that it has combined with the ability to support healthy foods can really help when it comes to balancing fire/pitta energy. David Frawley, the great Yoga and Meditation guru states, “Neem would be useful for anyone about to embark on a yogic spiritual path to counter the ill-effects of old diets and toxins.” However, it is highly recommended that if it is used as an herbal medicine it should be under the guidance of a Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioner.
Neem has numerous medicinal uses. Its chemical compounds that are present have antiarthritic, anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic, antipyretic, spermicidal, antifungal, antibacterial, and antimalarial properties. Neem is proven to be very beneficial in treating skin diseases. This is mainly because of the blood purifying, antifungal, and antibiotic properties that it has. Moreover, it also helps to maintain the health of the scalp skin, thus prevents dandruff. This is made even better as the extract of skin friendly Neem is now being used in manufacturing hair gels, bathing soaps, and body lotions. The products are becoming more and more popular in the market.
Recent research findings
The active compound in neem is nimbolide which is a bioactive terpenoid. Recent scientific studies now show that nimbolide may be a potential Complementary and Alternative Medicine remedy for shrinking prostate tumours. A recent animal study has shown that oral administration of nimbolide suppressed cell invasion and migration of prostate cancer cells without any significant adverse effects. After 12 weeks of treatment, the tumour size was reduced by up to 70 percent and its metastasis also reduced by 50 percent
The nimbolide works by targeting glutathione reductase, an enzyme responsible for maintaining the antioxidant system that regulates the STAT3 gene in the body. This then inhibits STAT3 activation, which is known to contribute to prostate tumour growth and metastasis.
The goal of Vedic sciences such as Yoga and Meditation, Ayurveda, Cosmology etc focuses on purification. Thus, one of the oldest herbal medicine treatments in existence may also extend to anti-cancer treatment.