Neem in the News — January 2016
It’s not often that we get to report on what researchers call the “gold standard” when it comes to clinical research – a randomized double-blind study in humans. In fact, I can think of only one other such trial involving neem in the last 20 years, which had looked at neem’s benefit for ulcers.
This new clinical trial looked at the effect of neem toothpaste on dental health. It was published in the November, 2015 issue of The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice (http://www.jaypeejournals.com/eJournals/ShowText.aspx?ID=8252&Type=FREE&TYP=TOP&IN=_eJournals/images/JPLOGO.gif&IID=633&Value=24&isPDF=YES).
The investigators evaluated the change in plaque level and in gingivitis in the mouths of 15 dental students who used a neem toothpaste for 30 days (the experimental subjects) vs 15 who used a standard toothpaste containing anti-plaque additives (the control subjects). The two different toothpastes were in identical looking tubes so that students had no idea which type they were getting. (They didn’t quantify the amount of neem, or the type, used in the experimental toothpaste, which would have been helpful to know.)
Plaque is a microbial biofilm that accumulates on teeth. When it isn’t adequately controlled, it causes cavities, gingivitis (inflamed gums), and periodontitis (a gum infection that can damage bone). Controlling plaque is the basis for healthy teeth and gums. Neem leaves were traditionally used in India for dental health, and extracts have been added to some toothpastes.
When this study began, both groups of subjects had the same plaque level and the same degree of gingivitis. But at the end of the 30-day study, the experimental group had significantly lower plaque levels and gingivitis scores. The control group had a much smaller plaque reduction, and no improvement at all in their gingivitis.
Researchers caution that these results are preliminary because of the small number of subjects and brief study period. Now a larger, longer study is needed. But in the meantime, these results are extremely encouraging.
If you have a personal success story involving neem toothpaste or neem bark toothpowder, we would love to hear it. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a review on our website at https://neemtreefarms.com/shop/neem-bark-toothpowder/#reviews/
P.S. — For all our animal-loving friends, don’t forget that you can make your own toothpowder with peanut butter (no xylitol though!) so their teeth are healthier too
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