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What Is Neem Tea?

Neem tea helps boost the immune system.
Neem tea is made from the leaves of the neem tree.
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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 12 April 2014
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Neem tea is an herbal tea made from ground leaves of the neem tree, which grows natively in India. Often used for medicine, this type of tea has been reported to strengthen immune function and relieve some types of physical pain due to illness. Strongly-brewed neem tea is also found in traditional Indian medicine as a remedy for some diseases. This kind of tea is often noted for its pronounced bitter taste, though some people find that the level of bitterness depends on the batch of neem leaves. Neem is usually considered part of the Ayurveda medicine practice that involves regular use of herbs as a disease-preventing measure.

Making neem tea can be done with several different recipe options. Some people prefer to use fresh neem leaves while others stick to dried ones. The average-sized mug of neem tea requires about three to five crushed leaves in most cases. While a few recipes may call for pouring boiling water directly over the neem leaves, some experienced tea makers report that this method can give the tea an especially strong bitter taste. A milder recipe often calls for only a few pinches of crushed leaves mixed with around 34 ounces (about one liter) of hot water and left to steep for about 20 minutes.

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Strong neem tea is sometimes prescribed as a remedy for malaria in the Ayurveda medicine tradition, though scientific studies of its effectiveness have varied results. Medical professionals often advise that the tea should be used as a secondary remedy along with prescribed medication whenever possible. Physicians also frequently caution against women drinking this kind of tea if they are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Neem tea is usually not recommended for young children with fevers due to a higher risk of side effects such as Reye syndrome.

Some additional reported benefits of neem tea include relief of minor respiratory ailments such as colds and allergies. It can also help to alleviate the nausea and pain associated with common stomach viruses. A few scientific tests have shown that concentrated amounts of this tea can weaken certain cancer cells, though this kind of treatment is usually considered experimental. Other similar studies have linked neem tea to lowered blood pressure in some people who suffer from hypertension. This use of the tea can also have mixed results depending on different patients' overall health states.

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