Neem & Diabetes?

 In General, Neem in the News

For some reason we don’t quite understand, we’re getting more and more questions about neem and diabetes lately. There are multiple sites online that promote it, but not carefully enough. WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO TAKE NEEM FOR DIABETES UNLESS YOU TEST YOUR BLOOD AT LEAST DAILY.

The back story – and why we feel so strongly about testing your blood. My sister’s father-in-law had both diabetes and Alzheimer’s when we first started making neem capsules. My brother-in-law asked if they’d help the Alzheimer’s (remember this was 1996 when neem research was in its infancy). Since he was also taking a ton of pain pills from a stint as a World War II prisoner of war, I knew they’d help his liver so we gave him a couple of bottles.

Fast forward a few months, and his family reported that some of his Alzheimer’s symptoms had improved. He was less likely to retell stories multiple times, he hid fewer items and could find them more often, and he remembered when it was time to eat. (We’ll do a different column on that in the future, but here’s the link if you’d like to figure it out: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678680/)

THE TERRIFYING THING is that is his blood sugar dropped to dangerously low levels. His home health nurse was convinced that he had been forgetting he’d taken his insulin and taking more than one dose per day. If you have diabetes, or love someone who does, you know that low blood sugar is just as dangerous (maybe more so!) tha high levels.

There are multiple studies, and even more anecdotal reports, on neem and diabetes. To the best of my knowledge, however, NONE of them recommend a mg/kg dose for human beings. (And there are about 400 studies listed on the National Institutes of Health website (www.pubmed) that note neem as a treatment for diabetes.)

There also may be some ethic differences. Indians from continental India have been consuming neem for centuries. Mexicans and Africans have used neem for generations. My sister’s father-in-law was a German Jew, so his body had never had a chance to acclimate to neem.

More and more studies are being done on neem and diabetes (as well as Alzheimer’s) — probably because current allopathic medicine hasn’t made significant strides, but be careful. Start off with the lowest possible dose – as in one of the Swanson capsules that contains only raw neem leaf daily – and carefully watch your blood sugar.

The work we’re seeing indicates than neem flowers are most effective against diabetes, but they’re extraordinarily expensive to harvest and I’m not aware of anyone making a capsule from them. Neem bark is secondary, but the Six-Way Neem Capsules are super-strong and you should not try them unless you know you can handle raw neem leaf and diabetes well.

In the meantime, I’m trying to collate both the good and the horrible impacts of neem and diabetes. If you have an experience you’d like to share, please email vicki@neemtreefarms.com or call my cell at 813-689-2616. It would be fabulous to contribute to the medical knowledge about such a horrible disease, but not if it hurts anyone!

One good thing though — I personally have low blood sugar and neem doesn’t seem to affect it, but be careful there too…

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