May promote hair health
Neem seed extract contains azadirachtin, an active compound that may fight parasites that affect hair and skin, such as lice. Azadirachtin disrupts parasite growth and interferes with reproduction and other cellular processes.
In a study that tested the efficacy of a neem-based shampoo on head lice in children, leaving shampoo in the hair for 10 minutes killed the lice while being gentle on the skin.
Neem extract and nimbidin, a compound found in neem oil, may also treat dandruff due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Dandruff and scalp irritation may result from fungal buildup on the scalp.
May boost dental and oral health.
Chewing neem bark to promote oral hygiene is a common practice in India
Neem’s antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties may promote oral health. Although more research is needed, studies indicate that neem may relieve pain and help treat gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay
Furthermore, test-tube studies suggest that neem may minimize bacteria’s ability to colonize the surface of your teeth, thus reducing plaque formation
In a 21-day study including 45 people with gingivitis, neem mouthwash was found to be as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash — a heavy-duty prescription mouthwash — at reducing gum bleeding and plaque
May aid liver and kidney health
Neem’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help fight oxidative stress, which may, in turn, promote liver and kidney health.
Oxidative stress is caused by a buildup of unstable molecules called free radicals. Although your body naturally produces free radicals as a byproduct of metabolism, external sources increase their presence.
Some drugs, including cancer medication, painkillers, and antipsychotics, may contribute to oxidative stress, damaging your liver and kidneys tissue.
Interestingly, one study on rats found that neem leaf extract reduced liver damage induced by high-dose acetaminophen.
Another rat study showed similar effects, suggesting that neem extract improved kidney tissue damage caused by chemotherapy medication.
However, studies on humans are needed.
It may improve skin health.
Neem seed oil is rich in fatty acids, including oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linoleic. These fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties that promote healthy skin.
Keep in mind that while Ayurvedic medicine — an Indian traditional healing system — uses neem to treat psoriasis and eczema, very few scientific studies support these claims.
Historically, neem has been used to treat acne, reduce blemishes, and improve skin elasticity.
Indeed, studies suggest that neem oil’s antibacterial properties combat acne.
A test-tube study showed that neem oil might aid long-term acne treatment when added to solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), a new drug formulation that offers a stable release of active ingredients.
All the same, research on humans is necessary.
Ulcer and wound healing
Animal studies suggest that neem leaf extract accelerates wound healing through an increased inflammatory response and the formation of new blood vessels.
In a 2013 34-day case study, applying 100 mg of neem oil topically twice daily completely healed chronic skin ulcers.
In another study, 6 people with intestinal ulcers took 30 mg of neem extract orally twice daily. After ten days, acid secretion had declined significantly, and the ulcers were almost completely healed after ten weeks.
Yet, this was a relatively small study. More human research is needed.