Azadirachta indica (generic name)
treats Psoriasis vulgaris, Ulcers, Dental plaque, and Mosquito repellent
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Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for neem. The bark extract in a dose of 30-60 milligrams twice daily for ten weeks by mouth has been used to treat gastroduodenal ulcers. A gel formulation containing neem extract twice a day, before bed and after breakfast, for six weeks has been used in the treatment of plaque and gingival condition. Neem cream or oil (2-5% neem oil) has shown protective effects against mosquito bites.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for neem in children, and use is not recommended.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to neem (Azadirachta indica).
Side Effects and Warnings
There are few scientific reports about the safety of the above ground parts of neem. Nonetheless, several cases of death in children from neem oil poisoning have been reported. Other symptoms present in these children included vomiting, drowsiness, loose stools, metabolic acidosis, anemia, Reye-like syndrome, altered sensation and consciousness, seizures, decreased responsiveness, and liver enzyme increases with evidence of liver damage.
Taking neem bark extract by mouth for up to ten weeks appears well-tolerated in adults, as well as neem leaf extract gel for use within the mouth for up to six weeks. A 5% neem cream or 0.5-2% neem oil is also likely safe when applied on the skin as an insect repellent for up to two weeks.
Ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest due to neem leaf poisoning has been reported. Neem leaf extract may also cause bradycardia (slowed heart rate), heart rate abnormalities, or low blood pressure.
Although not well studied in humans, neem may cause increases in ammonia levels in the body or decreases in blood sugar. High concentrations of neem leaf extract may be inhibitory to thyroid function, particularly conversion of T3 and T4. Injections of neem oil may cause damage to the uterus and surrounding glands, mild transient eosinophilia (increased levels of white blood cells), and non-specific endometritis (inflammation of the lining of the uterus).
Margosa oil causes toxic encephalopathy (degenerative brain disease) particularly in infants and young children. Drowsiness, seizures, lethargy, and extreme exhaustion followed with coma/hyporeactivity are also possible. Use cautiously in patients with liver disease.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Neem is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to possible abortifacient (abortion inducing) and anti-implantation effects observed in animal studies. However, teratogenetic (causing malformations or defects to an embryo of foetus) effects have not been reported in animals.