Learning about Neem and its benefits

All parts of a Neem tree offers a lot of health benefits. It was interesting to understand how the stem, leaves and especially flowers help in Ayurvedic medicine.

Neem tree

Typically it looks like this. Every part of the tree has its own benefits. It is known to be a tree that symbolizes health. Grows in a tropical/sub tropical climate in wet soil, while it can survive during a drought as well!

Neem stem

Stem of Neem leaves are known to be used as toothbrushes in olden days. Some use it even now. Known to be extremely helpful, chewing the stem and spitting out the bark is known to be helpful for stronger teeth and oral hygiene.

Neem leaves

As per Ayurveda, Neem leaves are used to treat skin diseases, headaches and are known to be good for the eyes. Extremely bitter in taste, they can change the flavor of the dish.

Neem flowers

As per Ayurveda, Neem flowers seem to have the unique ability to balance our Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. This helps in restoring health and getting rid of some of the root causes of diseases aiding in long term health benefits. Typically, these flowers are known to bloom during spring time.

How to ingest Neem flowers?

  1. Eat a few fresh raw flowers
  2. Eat the fresh flowers with a bit of jaggery to balance out the taste
  3. Add it to salads, lentils, veggies and any dishes that blends well with some bitter taste

Did you Know: Consuming Neem flowers during spring time is known to help overcome health issues during the year.

Neem powder

While Neem powder can be used as a medicine to balance the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas for overall health (per Ayurveda). It purifies blood, helps flush out toxins, and helps treat insect bites!

It is also powerful as a fertilizer and pesticide. Mixing it with water and sprinkle it over plants that are being infected by bugs and see the difference!

It is also used in face packs and helps in skin cleansing!

It helps in healing mild skin problems like rashes, irritation, burns and infections with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in nourishing dry skin.

Neem as a face pack

Take two tablespoons of neem powder and sandalwood powder each, and add a little water and one tablespoon of rose water to make a paste. Apply it to your face (avoid eyes and eyebrows) and let it rest for 15 minutes before washing it off with cold water!

Word of Caution

Being bitter, it has the ability to reduce sugar levels, and can have side effects if consumed in large quantities constantly. Body needs to have a balance of all 6 tastes to sustain good health (sweet, salty, astringent, bitter, sour and pungent). Increased usage of any one of them without balancing the others can cause side effects. If you plan for prolonged use (and not one-time use), check with a physician first.

Learning about Neem and its benefits makes me realize that

Extremes are easy, striving for the right balance is hard!

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