What’s the difference between leaf and bark supercritical extracts?
We sell supercritical neem extracts in three versions — leaf, bark and a combination of leaf and bark — because both have some significant advantages.
Most of the research work being done around the world today focuses on neem leaf extract. It’s much easier to harvest and it’s the part of the tree most often used in traditional Ayurvedic medical. Neem bark is more difficult to harvest, although it can be done sustainably without harming the tree.
Although neem bark extract is very similar to neem leaf extract, it does have some critical differences depending upon your personal health goals.
We’ll assume you know the benefits of neem leaf if you’re reading this post, so we’ll concentrate on the specific benefits of neem bark:
- Neem bark is the traditional choice for oral care, and millions of people without access to dental care in tropical countries have beautiful smiles because they use neem chew sticks. That use is verified through ongoing research and even Dr. Oz calls it a “secret weapon” in the war for good oral hygiene.
- Neem bark also appears to be more effective in dealing with various “tummy troubles.” Clinically, researchers say that neem bark extract has the potential to control gastric ulcers and hyperacidity. In fact, one of the only clinical trials using neem on human subjects reached similar conclusions.
- Neem bark extract is a “potent entry inhibitor against (herpes simples virus type 1) infection.”
- A compound found in neem bark, nimbolide, “markedly enhanced health and reduced inflammation” in rats with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neem bark extract (made from the root not the tree) showed “significant results” in lowering blood sugar levels in rats.
- Neem bark has more antioxidant compounds than the leaf.
- And while we don’t have the clinical research to document the impact of neem bark on immune systems, anecdotal reports from customers indicate that it’s a more effective than the leaf.
Last but not least, if you’re taking an extract rather than a capsule, the bark tastes much better than the leaf!
While this post focuses on supercritical extract, the same holds true for water-based infusions that you can make at home. We don’t sell it because it would be so difficult to preserve, but it’s easy to do – just be sure to refrigerate any infusion you don’t use immediately. (Mix a scant ¼ teaspoon of neem bark in a cup of very hot water, stir well and allow to cool. The powder will settle to the bottom of the cup, so you can drink it or pour the dregs on your favorite plant.)