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Neem is a popular dietary supplement used for treating a variety of conditions. It appears to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-fever effects. However, much more research is needed before it is fully understood how (or even if) neem works for most uses. Some of the side effects that have been reported with the supplement include jaundice, decreased urine production, and liver damage.
Neem is a tree that is commonly used for its medicinal properties. The bark, seeds, oil, leaves, and other parts of the tree are used to make a variety of different herbal remedies. Additionally, neem oil is used as a natural pesticide, and the plant's twigs are used as natural toothbrushes.
(Click Benefits of Neem for more information on what the supplement is used for.)
As a plant, neem contains many different compounds. More than 135 different compounds have been found within it. At this time, it is not clear which compounds (or combination of compounds) might be responsible for its medicinal actions. Early research suggests that neem (or the compounds found in it) has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-fever effects. It is thought that neem might have contraceptive effects by stimulating the immune system to attack the sperm or the embryo.
Much more research is necessary before it is fully understood exactly how (or even if) neem works for most uses.
It is not clear if neem is effective for most uses, as it has not been studied much in humans (see Does Neem Work? for more information).