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Are Neem Leaves An Effective Remedy To Treat Dengue Fever?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is an excellent broad-spectrum herb found almost everywhere in India and other countries such as Malasia, Africa and South America. The plant is used widely in Ayurvedic treatment methods and has versatile properties. Almost every part of the neem plant is used due to their numerous medicinal benefits.

Neem leaves are a major source of immunity booster and are commonly used in the treatment of dengue, which is the most dreadful of all the monsoon diseases. Dengue is a vector-borne disease that gets spread by a vector (transmitter) Aedes aegypti, a female mosquito who is the vector for dengue virus (Flavivirus). [1]

Dengue is characterised by a wide range of symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, rashes, nausea, vomiting and weakness. The symptoms start occurring after the virus incubation period, which is 3-14 days. In a few cases, long-term fatigue is also observed.

In case of delay in treatment, dengue may get life-threatening due to complications such as a fast reduction in blood platelet count, breathing difficulties, and bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin. [2]

In this article, we will discuss how neem and its parts can be used as an effective remedy for dengue. Take a look.

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Active Compounds In Neem

The most active compound found in neem is azadirachtin. Along with that, it has various constituents such as nimbidin, nimbin, nimbolide, limonoids nimbolinin, nimbidol, sodium nimbinate, gedunin and salannin that plays an important role in disease management.

Quercetin and beta-sitosterol are polyphenolic flavonoids found in fresh neem leaves that possess antimicrobial, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities. On the other hand, neem seeds are packed with two vital components such as gedunin and azadirachtin. [3]

Neem Leaves For Dengue

Till date, there are no globally accepted treatment methods for dengue in any system of medicine. The symptoms of dengue are highly managed by several adjuvants and alternate therapies due to the non-availability of specific drugs for the condition.

Various herbal remedies, including neem leaves, have been used for managing dengue symptoms. A study carried out on neem leave extract say that they can be effective against dengue virus type-2 by reducing the viral load in an individual. [4]

Neem leaves and seeds contain a compound called Azadirachtin that prevents the replication of the dengue virus. Therefore, they may help combat dengue at a faster rate.

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How To Use Neem Extracts For Dengue

1. Neem infused water

Nimbin and Nimbidin are the chemicals found in neem leaves, which have anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antimicrobial properties. Boil neem leaves in water and then drink the liquid at regular intervals, 2-3 times a day. Studies suggest that this neem extract can increase blood platelet and WBC counts in patients with severe dengue.

2. Neem extract and papaya leaf extract

Neem leaf extract along with a combination of papaya leaf extract is an excellent remedy to treat dengue. Together, they increase platelet count in dengue patients at a faster rate and also help prevent the viral multiplication.

3. Neem leaves

Daily intake of neem leaves orally helps to boost immunity, purifies the blood and removes toxins from the body.

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4. Neem oil application

Neem oil extracted from its fruit and flowers acts as a wonderful mosquito repellent. Application of neem oil topically can reduce the chance of the person being affected by dengue to a great extent.

5. Neem leaves smoke

Avoiding mosquitoes is the best possible solution to prevent dengue. Dry neem leaves can be used to make smoke, which keeps mosquitoes away.

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Common FAQs

1. Can neem cure fever?

Neem leaves are widely used to treat dengue fever. However, it can also be used to treat regular fever from flu viruses and boost the immune system simultaneously.

2. What neem leaves cure?

Neem leaves are used for treating varieties of ailments such as stomach upset, flatulence, skin ulcers, bloody nose, intestinal worms, diabetes, liver disorders, dental problems and, leprosy. However, pregnant women are advised to avoid their usage as they cause abortion.

3. Is it safe to eat neem leaves daily?

As neem leaves and other parts of neem plant are considered a herb, they are dose-dependent. Meaning, only when used in a proper amount, they can inhibit a particular condition. Neem is considered safe for up to a dose of 60 mg a day for 10 weeks.

Story first published: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 17:00 [IST]