Herbal Therapies Used by People Living With HIV: Neem
Part of A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies for People Living With HIV
Neem (Azadiracta indica) is a tropical evergreen tree sometimes known in India as "the village pharmacy." The essential oil of this tree is an antibiotic used against a variety of micro-organisms. It is particularly useful for skin conditions, including fungal infections, eczema and scabies. It is also used for muscle and joint aches. For these purposes, the oil is usually diluted and blended into a cream for application to the skin. Neem oil is also blended into toothpaste to prevent thrush and gingivitis. It has many properties similar to tea tree oil. The essential oil is rarely ingested.
Other parts of the neem tree have medicinal properties and are used in Ayurvedic formulas to treat fevers and even serious infections like malaria. When taken orally, neem should only be used under the supervision of an Ayurvedic practitioner and should not be used when fatigue or wasting is evident.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.