Neem leaves are traditional ayurvedic medicine. Their antibacterial properties heal wounds and provide several other health benefits. Neem leaves are commonly called ‘Sarvaroga Nivarini’ or the cure of all diseases. Here are the ten significant health benefits of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach.
1. Helps in Losing Weight
You can have neem leaves in the morning on an empty stomach if you are looking for natural ingredients to help you lose weight. According to research, neem leaves have anti-obesity effects that promote weight loss. An old study by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) also suggests that neem leaf extracts may reduce obesity in humans.
Moreover, as neem has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps remove any harmful bacteria in the stomach and improves digestion. Also, the cooling properties of neem leaves help digestion. According to research, neem bark extracts can help treat ulcers in the gastrointestinal region. Therefore, eating neem leaves in the morning can also help reduce digestive issues like gas and acidity. It improves digestion and is effective for weight loss.
2. Helps Manage Acne Breakouts
Neem leaves are believed to have various skin benefits. Along with the topical application, eating neem leaves on an empty stomach can reduce acne breakouts. According to the Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological, and Chemical Sciences, a herbal anti-acne gel that comprises a hydro-alcoholic extract of neem leaves effectively reduces breakouts.
According to research, neem leaves contain a compound called nimbidin that has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps calm down acne inflammation. One of the major causes of acne is the growth of bacteria on the skin. Since neem leaves are a powerful antioxidant, they help control the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Moreover, neem leaves are also beneficial in healing acne-prone skin. Eating neem leaves can help manage oily skin and redness caused due to acne. Neem leaves also have astringent properties that help fade away acne scars.
3. Promotes Healthy Hair
Neem oil is used as a traditional medicine to remove lice from hair. It also helps reduce dandruff and promotes a healthy scalp. According to research, neem leaves are also beneficial in managing alopecia or hair loss. Neem leaves contain antifungal properties that can help reduce dandruff.
According to the Open Dermatology Journal, the antibacterial properties of neem leaves make them an effective scalp cleanser. They help unclog hair follicles that help in promoting hair growth. Moreover, the antiseptic properties of neem leave also help get relief from several scalp problems. Therefore, eating 1-2 neem leaves on an empty stomach can be beneficial if you have dandruff or other scalp problems.
4. Boosts Immunity
Eating neem leaves on an empty stomach also helps boost immunity. According to research, neem leaves extract enhances the functioning of the immune system in animals.
Another research suggests that glycoproteins present in the neem leaf extracts facilitate an immune-enhancing activity that restricts tumour growth. According to the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, neem leaves have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that help strengthen the immune system. It purifies the blood and eliminates toxins from the body.
Neem leaves have immunostimulating properties that boost the working of the lymphocytic system in the body. They enhance the functioning of killer cells in the body that fight various pathogens entering the body.
5. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Neem leaves are also beneficial for diabetic patients as they maintain blood sugar levels. According to an animal study, neem leaves effectively manage type 2 diabetes mellitus. It happens because the neem leaves boost the insulin signalling molecules in the body and promote glucose utilization by the skeletal muscles.
According to another research, neem leaves have various bioactive like flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and alkaloids. All these compounds are beneficial in managing diabetes.
The International Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Research also suggests that neem leaf extracts have hypoglycemic effects that help regulate blood sugar levels. The Nimbidin compound present in neem leaves also delays the rise in blood sugar levels.
6. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Another important benefit of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach is preventing cancer. According to research, neem leaves extracts have been used to treat diseases like cancer since ancient times. Neem leaves have antitumor activities that help treat cancer. They contain bioactive compounds like azadirachtin and nimbolide that suppress the growth of malignant cells in the body.
Another research suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of neem leaves extract help prevent oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a disease that causes head and neck cancer.
According to the IJMS, neem leaves are beneficial in treating ovarian cancer, the eighth most common cancer in women.
7. Improves Oral Health
You must have often seen your grandparents or parents using neem twigs to brush their teeth instead of using toothbrushes. The Neem plant is believed to have several benefits for oral health. Eating neem leaves on an empty stomach may improve your dental health. According to research, neem leaves extracts are widely used in mouthwashes to prevent tooth decay and cavities. It can also prevent diseases, oral infections, and sore and bleeding gums. Neem leaves also avoid plaque deposits on the teeth and improve oral health.
According to the Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, neem leaves also have pain-relieving properties that relieve toothaches. Further, the antiseptic properties of neem leaves also prevent mouth ulcers.
8. Helps Improve Vision
Eating neem leaves on an empty stomach is also beneficial in treating eye infections and improving eyesight. According to research, neem leaves are used as a traditional medicine to stop the growth of bacteria that causes eye and ear infections. As per Ayurveda, neem leaves can help improve vision. They are also beneficial in treating weakness of eye muscles and reddening of eyes. It also strengthens the eye muscles.
According to research, one of the major causes of cataracts is the presence of free radicals in the body. Plants with antioxidant properties are effective in treating cataracts. As neem leaves are a powerful natural antioxidant, they are beneficial in preventing cataracts.
Research also suggests that neem leaves are beneficial in treating conjunctivitis and night blindness.
9. Removes Body Toxins
Another crucial benefit of neem leaves is that they help eliminate body toxins. According to research, neem leaves have antimicrobial properties that help treat fungal diseases in the body like athlete's foot, ringworm, and fungal infection in the intestinal region. Neem leaves also treat yeast infections in the lungs, mouth, hands, and vagina. They also help control the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the body that causes food poisoning, typhoid, and pus-formation in the body.
Neem leaves also have antiviral properties that protect the body from certain types of viruses. Neem leaves extracts are beneficial in fighting smallpox and chickenpox virus. The leaves prevent the virus from entering into the healthy body cells.
Some studies also suggest that neem leaves are beneficial in treating viral diseases like hepatitis B and herpes.
10. Promotes Heart Health
According to the Neem Organisation, eating neem leaves on an empty stomach is also beneficial for the heart. Neem leaves prevent blood clotting, reduce bad cholesterol in the body, and help regulate blood pressure. Neem leaves contain a compound called nimbidin that helps dilate blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart attacks. Neem leaves are also helpful in managing irregularities in the heartbeat.
Moreover, according to research, neem leaves may effectively treat coronary heart disease. Therefore, eating neem leaves is good for cardiovascular health.
An animal study also suggests that neem leaves extracts are beneficial in reducing hypertension.
Side Effects of Eating Neem Leaves on Empty Stomach
Even though neem leaves have plenty of health benefits, they might also cause specific side effects on the body. Here are some common side effects of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach:
According to research by the PeaceHealth organization, neem leaves may cause diarrhoea in adults. Excess consumption of neem leaves can also cause nausea, dizziness, and stomach ache. Therefore, if you have surgery in a few days or are taking certain medicines, it is best to avoid eating neem leaves.
2. Autoimmune Diseases
As stated above, neem leaves help boost immunity. However, excess consumption of neem leaves may trigger the immune system. It may cause autoimmune diseases in the body.
3. Harmful for Kidneys and Liver
Another side-effect of eating too many neem leaves on an empty stomach is that it may cause harm to the kidneys and liver. According to research, various human and animal case studies suggest that neem leaves extract has toxic effects, especially in infants. Contamination of neem leaves with lead and cadmium is common. It is toxic for the body and can harm the kidneys and liver.
Another research also suggests that drinking neem tea leaves for long can damage the liver. Therefore, if you have a kidney or liver disease, you should avoid eating neem leaves.
4. Drops Blood Sugar Level Extremely Low
As you have already read above, neem leaves are beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels. However, overconsumption of neem leaves can cause the blood sugar levels to drop extremely low. It can be dangerous for the body. Therefore, you must always have recommended amounts of neem leaves on an empty stomach.
5. Might Cause Infertility
It is also believed that eating neem leaves can help prevent pregnancy. According to research, applying neem oil inside the vagina before sexual intercourse prevents pregnancy. Therefore, a lot of women use neem as a natural contraceptive. According to the Global Journal of Reproductive Medicine, neem leaves can affect fertilization and implantation. It may also cause abortion. Therefore, pregnant women or are planning a child should avoid eating neem leaves.
- K. Satyanarayana, K. Sravanthi, July 2015; Molecular approach to identify the antidiabetic potential of Azadirachta indica - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630690/
- H Schneider, H L Ko, March 2006; Enhancement of immune responses to neem leaf extract (Azadirachta indica) correlates with antineoplastic activity in BALB/c-mice - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16634526/
- Patricia Reutemann, June 2008; Neem oil: a herbal therapy for alopecia causes dermatitis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18627678/
- Fatemeh Yarmohammadi, Soghra Mehri, March 2021; The protective effect of Azadirachta indica (neem) against metabolic syndrome: A review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087850/