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   Neem and HIV

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Nature's Oldest
Newly Discovered Miracle


If you read the positively rhapsodic words of neem tree proponents, you would think there is almost nothing this plant can't do.

Dubbed "the miracle tree" and "the wonder tree", the neem tree is known in India as "the village pharmacy". It is used to prevent gum disease, to act as a pesticide/herbicide, to relieve skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis, to ditch intestinal worms, to stop chronic diarrhea (or constipation!), to relieve ulcers, to reduce fevers, to ease pain,to fix pimples and hemorrhoids, to cure headaches, and to act as an antibacterial and anti-viral agent. Neem can even work as a contraceptive for men and women!

Neem bark, leaves, oil, sap, twigs, seeds, roots, flowers, and fruits all have medicinal properties. On top of all this, neem is used to feed cattle and sheep, build houses, supply firewood, provide mulch, improve soil,make soap. No wonder the United Nations declared neem the tree of the 21st century!

Though Neem did not hit the headlines in North America and Europe until the last decade, India has used it for over four thousand years. Neem is a Sanskrit word that means "to bestow health" and was an ingredient in over 50% of Ayurvedic preparations (Ayurveda is the name of the Indian system of medicine). Scientists in India, Europe, and North America are working diligently to uncover the spectrum of potential uses for neem.

Given that much of the interest in neem has really only sprouted in the last decade or so, the medicinal uses of its seeds, bark, oils, and leaves are still being explored by formal, scientific research methods. Currently there are few studies available on the anti-viral properties of neem. It could be quite some time before more is known.

Studies have traditionally isolated the active compounds in herbs and plants and then conducted tests on those compounds. Because neem has over 100 active compounds and because no data exists regarding which ones work together and how, isolating the active compounds is not an effective way to study it. Preliminary data does seem to indicate that it may have an impact on the ability of viruses to multiply and spread.

Neem's ability to ward off the numerous and common place infections that are associated with AIDS also makes it very attractive for people living with HIV. The studies currently available through medical journals were all conducted on rats and mice and were not specifically testing neem and HIV. What these studies do indicate is that with certain groups of viruses, neem activates macrophages and lymphocytes. Mice given neem leaves show immuno­potentiating effects, meaning the oil of neem stimulates their immune systems in laboratory tests.

Finally, the Ayurvedic approach to treatment views healing as the process of regaining balance in the body. For this reason, it is extremely rare in Ayurveda to use any one element as a cure-all. From this perspective, the use of neem for every ache, pain, and sore would not be recommended, though it still sounds quite beneficial for a number of complaints.

Read the PDF version of this
article on the BCPWA website

AIDS and Neem
By enhancing the cellular immune response most pathogens can be eliminated before they cause the ill feeling associated with disease.

This mechanism could also help in diseases that involve the immune system, like AIDS.
Taking neem leaf or bark powder every other day or drinking a mild neem tea will enhance antibody production and the body's cell-mediated immune response, helping to prevent infections.

Neem has immuno-stimulating properties for both the lymphocytic and cell-mediated immune systems. When human white blood cells infected with HIV were cultured with neem extracts, the production of viral proteins dropped dramatically. Dr. Upadhyay and Dr. Berre'-Sinousi, (one of the
scientists who identified the AIDS virus), believe the neem extracts block production of viral proteins thereby stopping replication of the virus....READ MORE

Studies of the effects of neem bark and neem leaf extracts show they significantly reduced the P-24 viral proteins and induced in vitro production of IL-1 interferon (Upadhyay, et al, 1993).

The National Institutes of Health, in a preliminary study, reports encouraging results
from in vitro tests where neem bark extracts killed the AIDS virus. (Larson, 1993).

Another possible effect neem may have on combating the AIDS virus is its apparent ability to enhance the cell-mediated immune response to infection. Using extracts made by soaking neem bark in water, Dr. Van
Der Nat (Netherlands) determined that the extract produces a strong immune
stimulating reaction.

The neem bark extract stimulated lymphocyte function which increased production of MIF, a lymphokine that attaches macrophages and monocytes to infectious agents. (Upadhyay, et al, 1990).

Believed to be the first line of defense against HIV infection, (Beardsley,1992);
(Caldwell, 1994) neem's ability to enhance the cell-mediated immune response may provide protection from vaginal contraction of the disease if neem is used as a vaginal lubricant before intercourse. If even only
partially successful in preventing the spread of AIDS, until scientists develop a cure, neem could save countless lives.

In cases where HIV has not advanced to full-blown AIDS some of the patientsappear
to have the enhanced cell-mediated immune responses (Caldwell, 1994) that neem can help produce. However, once contracted, AIDS may be treated by ingesting neem leaf extracts, whole leaf or by drinking neem tea.
Many of the complications associated with AIDS can also be treated with neem leaf or bark and creams.

Lesions of the skin or burning sensations have been successfully treated with neem leaves added to bath water and by creams containing neem oil.

Suggested products:
Neem Capsules
Neem Cream
Neem Lotion
Neem Hair and Body Shampoo

NeemWell Creams, Lotions Oil, Leaves and Shampoo
are safe for topical use on all age groups.
Neem leaf capsules should not be given to
anyone under the age of 14
Our products are to support healing,
not to replace a practitioner.

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