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Nature’s Potent Healer: Neem (Azadirachta Indica)

The neem tree is a tropical evergreen native to India and Asia. For thousands of years, neem has been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Owing to its wide range of medicinal properties, it has attracted worldwide attention from allopathic, homeopathic, and integrative physicians and health researchers.

More than 140 compounds have been isolated from different parts of neem. All parts of the tree—bark, leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, and roots can be used for the treatment of a variety of conditions. Medicinal applications of neem range from fever and inflammation to skin diseases and dental care. The leaf and bark, and their derivatives, have properties that demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic healing effects.

Neem remedies and neem-based products are appealing because they do not contain harsh chemicals and have varied uses for general health and well-being. Neem extracts are frequently found in shampoo, toothpaste, soap, cosmetics, insect repellent, lotions and creams, and pet shampoo.

Some of the common medicinal forms of neem are:

Extracts. High vitamin E content makes extracts effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin allergies. They also have been found effective in eliminating bacterial and fungal infections. The leaf is the primary source for extracts.

Bark. The bark has potent antibacterial properties. It can be made into a fast-absorbing oil to treat recurrent skin conditions, skin infections, and wounds.

Twigs. For centuries in India, chewing young, soft branches has been useful for preventing cavities and gum disease. In the United States, neem toothpaste and other dental products are used in holistic dental care.

Seeds. Crushing the seeds of the fruit produces a potent oil that is predominantly used in insecticide and pesticide products. It is a safer alternative to products containing the chemical DEET. It is also a very good flea and tick repellant for animals. For people, the oil can be added to shampoos to soothe a dry, itchy scalp.

Where to find neem products:
Neem Tree Farms http://neemtreefarms.com/neem-bark-powder-p-105.html
Pure Formulas Neem Toothpaste ‪www.pureformulas.com/‎
Discover Neem http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-spray.html

Resources

Organeem. “Neem Oil and Its Uses.” Accessed March 2015. http://www.organeem.com/neemoilitsuses.html

Subapriya, R., and S. Nagini. “Medicinal Properties of Neem Leaves: A Review.” Abstract. Current Medicinal Chemistry – Anti-Cancer Agents 5, no. 2 (March 2005): 149-156. http://bit.ly/1FlMNFD

Village Volunteers. “History, Medicinal, and Practical Uses of Neem.” Accessed March 2015. http://www.villagevolunteers.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Neem-Tree.pdf

Dr. Heather Wdowin

Dr. Heather Wdowin, NMD is a licensed primary care physician in the state of Arizona, and a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor in California. She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Neurobiology from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine is from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. She has completely circumnavigated the planet with a backpack, hiked the Grand Canyon nine times, jumped out of an airplane, sailed down the Nile and meditated in the queen’s chamber of the great pyramid. Dr. Wdowin specializes in Sports Medicine, Neuro-endocrinology, and difficult cases. She currently works with professional athletes in the NFL and UFC, optimizes their health and thereby improves their performance. She has studied with the leaders of the emerging Environmental Medicine field, and designed Human Reconstruction’s facility to be perfect for detoxification and depuration therapy and treatment. It is her philosophy to use all tools available to diagnose the cause of disease, and then treat that cause with personalized attention and whatever modality brings about results. She is an accomplished diagnostician and practitioner, as well as a certified clinical hypnotherapist to aid a patient in utilizing the mind body connection in healing.