Could neem bark replace proton pump inhibitors?
There were some interesting reports on neem this month, but one study that didn’t actually include neem hit close to home for me.
An estimated 15 million people – including my sister and several good friends – have taken proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) found in OTC and prescription drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. They’re very effective but have been known to cause osteoporosis and bone fractures, infections and heart attacks.
A new study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at patients who use PPIs and discovered a significantly increased risk of chronic kidney disease as well.
So what does that have to do with neem? Turns out one of the few human trials using neem looked at the impact of neem bark on gastric secretions. Published in 2004 by the peer-reviewed Life Sciences Journal,s, researchers at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology treated a group of patients with 30 milligrams of neem bark twice a day.
The results were impressive, including a 77% decrease in gastric acid secretion. The volume of gastric secretion and its pepsin activity also decreased by 63% and 50% respectively. Neem bark also “almost completely” healed the duodenal ulcers as monitored by barium X-rays or endoscopies in just 10 weeks.
The totally unscientific anecdotal reports we’ve received echo those documented results. My sister, for instance, still watches what she eats but no longer takes PPIs. Other people who started taking neem bark were able to significantly cut back on the drugs when they took it regularly.
Perhaps more impressive are reports from customers who are caregivers for elderly parents who began using neem for issues totally unrelated to stomach acidity. “My mother can eat tomatoes again,” according to one customer. Another reported that her grandfather can enjoy orange juice once more. We regularly hear from people who say their long-term “tummy troubles” are minimized or gone.
Until recently (last week, as a matter of fact), people who wanted to take neem bark had to resort to raw tea or extract. It took us nearly a year to make it happen, but we finally have neem bark available in a capsule again – and this time it’s even better.
Six-Way Neem Capsules contain both neem leaf and neem bark – in supercritical and hydrophilic (water) extracts as well as the raw materials. My sister got one of the first bottles out of the box because she’s better at feeding raw neem to her dogs than taking it herself. I’m hopeful that she’ll call me soon and say that she’s eating everything she wants again!