Vepa Choornam is used in India for over two millennia for their medicinal properties. Neem products are believed by Ayurvedic practitioners to be anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive and sedative. It is considered a major component in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine and is particularly prescribed for skin diseases.
The neem tree(vepa) (Azadirachta indica) has been recognized as possessing powerful health promoting properties for millennia. In fact, there is evidence that as long ago as 4,500 years, neem was already being used to support healing. Its use originated in ancient India and neighboring countries, where it has long been revered as one of the most versatile plants known. Even today, the neem tree is esteemed as the “Village Dispensary”—every part of it known to possess unique therapeutic value. The neem tree belongs to the family meliaceae—the mahogany family—and is a fast-growing, evergreen tree well known for its drought resistance. The neem tree matures into a large shade tree with a dense, round canopy and can live for 150-200 years. And while neem is notorious for its strong unpleasant odor, its flowers have a delicious honey-like scent that can be smelled for miles.As a fast-growing tree that needs little water, neem is also a very renewable resource.
Benefits of Neem(vepa)
- Supports healthy skin and a clear complexion*
- Bolsters the immune system *
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range*
- Supports a healthy digestive environment in the GI tract*
- Encourages proper fat and water metabolism*
- Supports a clear breathing and a healthy respiratory system*
- Soothes and lubricates the skin (external use)*
In very general terms, neem is known to have an affinity for the reproductive system, the GI tract, the urinary tract, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system. For thousands of years, various parts of the neem tree have been gathered for traditional health promoting as well as practical everyday uses. The leaves, fruits, bark, and seed oil offer a wealth of benefits to the skin, nails, scalp, teeth, and gums. Neem oil softens, moisturizes and protects the skin and can also be used as a deodorant for malodorous sweat.Neem is highly effective in the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums and supports overall oral hygiene;it is revered for the capacity to evoke natural color and vibrant health in both skin and hair; and it also encourages strong digestion and metabolism, healthy blood, and bolsters the immune system.
Neem and Ayurveda: Traditional Uses
In Ayurveda, neem is typically used to balance pitta and kapha. Its cold, light, and dry qualities tend to aggravate vata. Neem is therefore often recommended in combination with other herbs that help subdue its vata-provoking nature. Neem is quite bitter in taste, which gives it a powerful cooling energy . This cooling principle, combined with its capacity to support healthy blood, helps to balance pitta—particularly when there is heat in (the blood).Excess pitta can manifest in a number of ways; one prominent location is the skin. Neem pastes and oils have traditionally been applied to the skin as a means of soothing and lubricating it, calming irritated and heated sensations, maintaining comfortable body temperature, and supporting healthy skin and nails.Neem’s light and dry qualities give it the ability to counter kapha as well. Neem supports healthy digestion and kindles meda dhatu agni(the metabolic/digestive principle within adipose tissue), encouraging proper metabolism,and supporting blood sugar levels that are already in the normal range. It is often taken internally to foster a state of balance in the liver, pancreas, and digestive tract. Neem’s bitterness also improves taste, which is at the root of healthy digestion.Neem has a similar balancing effect on pitta and kapha in prana vaha storas (the respiratory passages).On a broader scale, neem supports natural cleansing of the channels in the body as well as the rejuvenation of healthy tissues. Because neem is vata aggravating by itself, it is combined with other herbs depending on the desired effect. For example, Banyan offers the following, all made with certified organic herbs:
- Blood Cleanse: Combines neem with herbs like manjistha, turmeric, and guduchi to support healthy skin and blood.
- Sweat Ease: Neem combined with traditional herbs like turmeric, shardunika (gurmar), and the antioxidant power of amalaki to support the pancreas, balance kapha, and support blood sugar levels that are already in a healthy range.
- Para cleanse: Benefit from neem blended with cleansing herbs like vidanga, pippali, ginger, and kutaja, which support the immune system and a healthy environment in the GI tract (where a large part of immunity is based).