Written by Simon Knott
What Are The Benefits of Neem and Turmeric?
Recently re-popularised thanks to Yogis such as Sahdguru, the combination of neem and turmeric has been used as nutritional supplement for thousands of years by the people of the Indian sub-continent. Despite such widespread usage across Asia, neem and turmeric are still relatively novel to many consumers in the West.
Revered by traditional cultures for their health-giving properties, scientific studies now highlight the effectiveness of neem and turmeric in several areas which are beneficial towards health. Alongside showing great potential as a nutritional supplement, neem and turmeric are 100% natural botanical products which contain no artificial ingredients or additives, something which has become more important to consumers of supplements in recent years.
Keep reading to learn more about neem and turmeric including what they are, where they come from and what benefits you could potentially gain by using them.
Where Do Neem and Turmeric Come From?
Neem has been an established part of Indian life for many centuries. The name derives from the Sanskrit, ‘Nimba’, which translates to ‘bestower of good health’. Neem leaf comes from the evergreen Indian lilac tree, which mostly grows in Myanmar and the Indian subcontinent. Often referred to as the ‘wonder tree’, neem is extensively used in agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry. The tree is complex and more than 400 different compounds have been identified in its biochemistry . To use neem as a supplement, the leaf is picked, washed, dried, chopped and then consumed in various ways.
The use of turmeric was first documented more than 4000 years ago during the time of the Vedic cultures in India. This was a formative period in Indian culture, where the basic foundations of society and Hinduism evolved.
As an alternative medicine system, Ayurveda also emerged, becoming a long-lasting, recognised medical practice. Turmeric was used as a spice in cooking throughout this period, but it also has an important role in medicine and religious ceremonies.
Turmeric is a rhizome, like root ginger, which grows wild in the forests of tropical South Asia but is now also widely cultivated. Even today, Buddhist monks’ rich, yellow robes are dyed using an extract from turmeric.
Turmeric was adopted by Western culture in the 13th century by spice traders, and consequently, its medicinal effectiveness has been researched much more thoroughly than many other botanical supplements.
The Benefits of Neem and Turmeric
Neem and Turmeric Are Powerful Antioxidants
Over a long period, oxygen-free radicals are created as a by-product of the body’s normal biochemistry. These chemically active molecules play a part in heart disease and other disorders. Using neem leaf tea is a long-established method of introducing antioxidants into the body, as a way of supplementing the body’s natural antioxidant defences .
In the same way, curcumin, the active component of turmeric, is an effective scavenger of these free radicals. Curcumin has also been shown to lower cholesterol for those at risk of heart disease and may also lower blood pressure. The antioxidant effect of curcumin may also reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration .
Neem and Turmeric Possess Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Neem and turmeric have both been shown to inhibit ‘nuclear factor-kappa B’, a protein factor in the body, which is a regulator of the natural immune response. By inhibiting this protein, neem, and turmeric block the action of the inflammatory molecules in the body thereby interrupting the normal anti-inflammatory response, which subsequently reduces the inflammation. Neem and turmeric are both regularly used in the treatment of arthritis .
Neem and Turmeric Can Improve Immunity
Over the last 20 years, studies have shown that turmeric is a potent agent that can modulate the action of T-cells, B-cells, and macrophages. These three cells carry out different functions in the body, which together form most of the immune response .
T-cells are generally responsible for cellular immunity, while B-cells, are more responsible for antibody immunity. The proof for neem improving the immune system is still largely anecdotal, however, initial studies have suggested that extract of neem does have some positive modulating effect on the immune system .
Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Properties of Both Neem and Turmeric
Recent studies have shown that at lower concentrations a solution of neem can be used as an effective antibacterial agent. It can effectively kill pathogenic bacterial infections without causing harm to the human system. Similar studies also established neem as an effective antiviral when used against viruses such as herpes simplex, and as an effective antifungal when used against a range of fungi.
There is now plenty of research corroborating the beneficial properties of the active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin. When used as an antibacterial agent, it destroys a range of species but one of the most important discoveries is its effectiveness against the bacteria Helicobacter pylori , which cause the debilitating disease of the stomach, gastritis. Used in combination with other existing medicines curcumin has helped reduce the symptoms of gastritis significantly.
Additional research has suggested both neem and curcumin are effective natural, antiviral, and antifungal agents and further research is suggested to incorporate both agents into brand-new anti-viral treatments.
Turmeric May Help Depression
Major depression is a serious illness that affects many people each year. The biochemical causes of depression are complex and based on monoamine deficiency, concerning the neurotransmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Conventional medicine uses antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which inhibit the absorption of serotonin, boosting its concentration in the brain.
Over the past 20 years, repeated studies have suggested curcumin from turmeric can influence the levels of monoamines in the central nervous system. However, the complexity of biochemical pathways involved in depression requires further research to identify curcumin’s optimum role .
Neem and Turmeric Are A Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Both neem and turmeric are high in available vitamins and minerals. Neem contains calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and beta-carotene , while turmeric contains calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium .
Neem and Turmeric Use in Ayurveda
Neem and turmeric have been used for thousands of years as part of Ayurvedic treatments, which date back 4000 years to Vedic culture in India. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words Ayur meaning ‘life’ and Veda meaning ‘science or knowledge’. As an alternative medicine, Ayurveda relies on keeping an optimum balance between body, mind, and spirit .
The principles of Ayurvedic theory rely on us being made of the elements, air, water, fire, earth, and space. These five elements combine to create three energies called doshas, which are Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. Each person has a unique combination of the three doshas, but one is usually dominant.
The Ayurvedic practitioner carries out a lengthy assessment with questions and examination to establish where the imbalance of the doshas lies. In Ayurvedic treatment, turmeric is often used in the treatment of strengthening the body energy, regulating menstruation, and relieving arthritis. While neem is commonly used to treat skin disorders and headaches, as well as for its natural calming effect.
An Ancient Botanical Combination.
Neem and Turmeric: Nutritionally Dense Botanicals Possessing a Range of Benefits
Neem and turmeric have been used by Eastern cultures for thousands of years and are revered for their effectiveness in improving general health and treating various ailments. Historically used in the Ayurvedic medicine systems and growing in popularity as a nutritional supplement, numerous scientific studies have now confirmed the potential of neem and turmeric to improve health and wellbeing.
Studies suggest neem and turmeric possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, whilst also showing potential to boost immunity and improve depression. Alongside the impressive list of aforementioned benefits, neem and turmeric are extremely nutritionally dense, containing a range of vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytochemicals.
Neem and Turmeric Capsules
1 month supply of Neem & Turmeric per 60 capsules
500mg of Neem and 500mg of Turmeric (in the form of curcumin) per serving.
Added Black Pepper Extract to Improve Absorption
- Extracted from Organically Grown Plants
- 100% Natural With No Artificial Ingredients