Your gut and stomach are very open to suggestions first thing in the morning. How your digestive system works throughout the day depends highly on what you offer your stomach just after waking up. It is well known that consuming a portion of food or drink within the first hour of waking up helps kick-start your metabolism, making your morning munchies a big decider on how your energy levels will be during the day. All of these factors have contributed to many ‘nuskhe’ about eating or drinking certain foods right after you wake up to enhance your health. One such common remedy in Indian households is neem, or Indian Lilac to be precise. The practice and benefits of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach have long been talked about and here’s everything you need to know about it…
- Benefits of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach
- 1. Neem Leaves helps to reduce acne breakouts
- 2. Neem leaves helps to maintain a healthy scalp
- 3. Neem leaves boosts your immune system
- 4. Neem leaves improves oral health
- 5. Neem leaves helps to regulate blood sugar levels
- FAQs about neem leaves
Benefits of eating neem leaves on an empty stomach
As seen above, neem leaves can have multiple benefits for your hair, skin and overall health. To put things in perspective, neem displays the following, much sought-after features as compared to other herbs - it is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant in nature. Its nutritional content majorly consists of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamin C, carotene, glutamic acid, praline, cystine and several fatty acids known to be highly beneficial for the skin.
They are most effective when consumed in the form of new leaves and on an empty stomach in the morning. This is to ensure that the nutrients of the neem are absorbed fully without being diluted with other food or drinks. Consuming neem on an empty stomach also makes sure that the nutrients reach your bloodstream in their potent form and work from inside out. As to how exactly neem offers the above-mentioned benefits, let’s take a closer look to understand…
1. Neem Leaves helps to reduce acne breakouts
As mentioned before, neem leaves have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. When consumed, the compounds present in neem can fight a number of skin infections, including acne, itchy skin, bug bites, eczema, ringworm and complications from burns.
Consumption of neem helps purify your blood and helps maintain healthy skin. It also brings down inflammation in your body that helps keep your sebaceous glands in check and inhibits excessive sebum production. This is especially helpful with seasonal acne in the monsoon and summer seasons when excessively oily skin can clog your pores and cause blackheads and other kinds of blemishes.
2. Neem leaves helps to maintain a healthy scalp
Consumption of neem leaves supports scalp health and better hair growth. The antifungal properties of neem can help fight scalp infections caused by malassezia, a fungus that tends to feast on the natural scalp oils and makes hair greasier. Both application and eating of neem leaves has proven to help keep malassezia-induced infections on the scalp at bay, further inhibiting growth of dandruff and flakiness on your scalp.
Neem is also rich in antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage on your scalp. This indirectly prevents early "ageing" of the scalp, inhibiting hair loss and also boosting new hair growth. Supplementing your diet with antioxidants can help improve the cell turnover cycles of your scalp, keeping it nourished and healthy.
3. Neem leaves boosts your immune system
One of the major advantages of consuming neem on an empty stomach is that it helps improve your gut health. Maintaining good gut health is necessary for feeling healthy inside and out. This also leads to your system being better at digesting and absorbing nutrients; and expelling toxins from your system at the same time. Such a regular form of detox helps keep your blood clean and heightens your body's ability to fight infections and keeps conditions like fever and flu at bay.
Eating neem leaves can help your immune system self-regulate itself and being rich in ethanol, it can boost the antibacterial activity against external pathogens. Drinking neem water on an empty stomach can also heighten your body's capacity to heal its wounds internally, keeping you from falling sick and helping you maintain optimal health.
4. Neem leaves improves oral health
In recent years, there has been a shift in focus towards oral health to heighten beauty aesthetics - a beautiful smile just happens to be an attractive quality that everybody wants. This is where the increase in popularity of chewing leaves comes in! The compounds present in neem can help keep your teeth and gums free of tartar and plaque build up. The antibacterial properties of the leaves are also good for ridding your mouth cavity of bacteria build up from the previous night. This can further help get rid of bad breath caused by a lack of oral hygiene habits.
The herbal treatment of chewing neem leaves has been known to help polish your teeth and help whiten them naturally. So, adding this ritual to your morning routine can really help upgrade your dental care practice with little to no effort, you just have to get past the bitter taste of it!
5. Neem leaves helps to regulate blood sugar levels
One of the more well-known and long practiced use of neem leaves is its consumption to manage blood sugar levels. While experts say there is still a lot of research left to be done to study the direct relation of chewing neem leaves on an empty stomach in the morning and blood sugar levels, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest the same. This is because neem is rich in plenty of flavonoids and glycosides that can help manage optimum blood sugar levels in people who struggle with diabetes or diabetic conditions.
Since there are no potential side effects to consuming neem leaves, it is safe to assume that you can still add it in your diet, even if it may not help in a big way.
FAQs about neem leaves
Q. What is the best way to counter the bitter taste of neem leaves while eating?
A. A good tip is to mix neem leaves with honey or drinking neem leaves boiled in water on an empty stomach to counter the bitter taste. If this does not help, try soaking the neem leaves in water for 5 minutes and grinding them into a paste. Add water, lemon and sugar to the mix to make it a much more palatable drink that is easy to consume first thing in the morning. You can even make hot tea out of dried neem leaves to avoid having to handle its bitter taste while consuming it.
Q. What is the safe amount of neem leaves that you can consume daily?
A. It is safe to consume about 4-5 neem leaves on an empty stomach on a daily basis. However, it is recommended to use this practice for a short period of time (upto 10 weeks) as long-term consumption of heavy doses can affect your kidney and liver in a negative way.
Q. Can eating neem leaves on empty stomach aid with weight loss?
A. It is widely believed that consuming neem leaves in juice form, that also includes honey and lemon, on an empty stomach can help with weight loss. This idea comes from the fact that neem can help detoxify your body and improve your metabolism. This contributes to better digestion processes that absorb energy and are able to quickly expel waste instead of collecting the fat from it. So yes, a combination of a good diet, exercise and a neem concoction in the morning can help manage your weight better.