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Neem oil comes from a tree native to India and is primarily used for medicinal as well as cosmetic purposes. It is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, most notably to help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. Although this skin condition is not curable, several people believe that using neem for psoriasis may completely reduce most side effects. It must be noted, however, that as of 2011 there is little scientific evidence on the several supposed benefits of neem for psoriasis. For this reason, many of the claims on the benefits are informal and unproven.
Psoriasis is a genetically linked skin condition, so as of 2011 there is no known cure for it. Instead, treatments only help with the side effects of the skin condition. Many people believe that using neem for psoriasis is a cure, while long-term use of neem oil may be sufficient to keep side effects at bay for extended periods of time. This is due to the several active ingredients found in the oil that are proven to efficiently fight many of the symptoms of psoriasis.
Some studies have shown that certain active components in neem oil may directly benefit specific symptoms of psoriasis, which supports the theory that using neem for psoriasis is highly effective. Azadirachtin is anti-inflammatory, which soothes the affected skin and reduces the pain, itchiness and redness. Campesterol and stigmasterol are two steroids out of several found in neem that also aid in relieving symptoms as well as healing the skin. Neem also has several anti-bacterial properties that fight off skin infections associated with psoriasis. It also helps to lock in moisture and soften the rough affected patches of skin.
There are cases in which using neem for psoriasis has not been effective for some people. In fact, it showed no evidence of helping symptoms at all. Generally, it is believed that the reason for this is due to specific triggers that make psoriasis flare up or worsen. These are namely stress, poor diet, and alcohol. Several advocates of neem believe that if these factors are improved, then the neem would become just as effective for this group.
As of 2011 there is no evidence that neem has a level of toxicity, and there are no known cases of overdose. Neem is sometimes used as a contraceptive, so women trying to conceive or who are pregnant are recommended to not take neem for psoriasis. It is further suggested that it only be taken topically. Consulting a doctor before deciding to use neem for psoriases is also highly recommended.