Neem in the News, May 2017
Medical reports about neem aren’t necessarily easy to understand unless you have an advanced degree in medicine. There were several esoteric articles this month but they pretty much went over our heads. (Unless, of course, you are smart enough to understand an article about nimbolide upregulating RECK by targeting miR-21 and HIF-1α in cell lines and in a hamster oral carcinogenesis model*).
And it turns out that an old customer found an article on neem we hadn’t seen when it first published in 2014 in Natural Products Communications. It’s an international peer-reviewed publication covering chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacology, and chemical ecology of natural products. However, it’s so paywalled we couldn’t buy the single article so this information comes from the abstract online at the National Institutes of Health website.
Neem and Inflammation *
Scientists have known for decades that neem has anti-inflammatory properties * but this study specifically looks at the difference between the four most commonly used anti-arthritic herbs and ibuprofen. The herbs included boswellia (Boswellia sapindales), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), guggul (Commiphora wightii), and neem (Azadirachta indica).
They determined the highest possible dose before cell death occurred and then used about half that dosage (0.05 mg/mL) to test for their effectiveness in controlling inflammation. They exposed the mouse cells to chemicals known to cause inflammation, and looked at the levels of proteins that are activated by an inflammatory response. *
Neem and licorice show “robust anti-inflammatory responses compared with ibuprofen,” although bosweillia and guggul did not demonstrate significant responses. For the scientists who read our articles, their conclusion was “Neem and licorice are more effective than ibuprofen in suppressing LPS-induced inflammation in C2C12 cells.” *
Over the years, we’ve heard multiple anecdotes about pain relief from neem on its own but are delighted to have a clinical study backing up those reports. *
Neem Protects Livers *
From the perspective of someone who takes anything – including prescription drugs – for arthritis pain, we’ve always recommended that they use neem in conjunction with it. Multiple studies have shown that neem protects livers from damage caused by some drugs, specifically acetaminophen, aspirin and even the chemotherapy drug Cisplatin. *
You can learn more about neem’s liver-protecting attributes at the National Institutes of Health website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=neem+liver.
Update on Neem and Wrinkles
We’re still working with the researchers and our manufacturers in India to come up with the perfect formula to replicate the study that shows neem leaf extract can actually rejuvenate sun-damaged skin. * The researchers are almost as excited as we are about a study in humans rather than rats and were generous enough to share their exact recipe with us. We hope to have something in hand by the end of next month for the people who signed up for our challenge. (Learn more at https://neemtreefarms.com/take-the-challenge/)
* These statements have not been evaluated by the EPA. Neem Tree Farms does not sell products which are intended to diagnose, treat, control or cure any disease, or to repel any insect from people or animals.