Eating Neem in Pregnancy - Benefits & Precautions to Take

Is Eating Neem During Pregnancy Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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For over 2000 years, Neem has been the highlight of South Asian medicine because of its wonderful medicinal properties. All parts of the Neem tree provide us with several benefits and are thus used in making medicines. Neem is very popular in Ayurvedic medicine as a herb. It provides many benefits to the body by purifying the blood, removing toxins and treating ulcers among many others. Using Neem during pregnancy, however, is a cause of concern.

Is It Safe to Eat Neem While Pregnant?

It is not safe to consume neem during pregnancy. Neem contains substances that may cause contractions of the uterus, leading to miscarriage or premature birth. It’s advisable for pregnant women to avoid ingesting neem in any form, including neem oil in pregnancy, neem leaves, or neem supplements. Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended for personalized advice.

Is It Safe to Eat Neem While Pregnant?

Are There Any Benefits and Uses of Neem During Pregnancy?

Consuming Neem leaves during pregnancy is not advisable, but using Neem for external benefits is alright. Thus, enjoying the benefits of Neem’s healing properties without ingesting it is a great way to make use of this medicinal herb during pregnancy. Here are some ways you can benefit from Neem during this delicate time:

  • Applying a paste of neem leaf in pregnancy or Neem-based creams on the stomach will help reduce the effects of stretch marks during pregnancy.
  • A soothing Neem bath is considered to be an essential way of caring for yourself during the monsoon season. It will help you fight bacteria and germs and keep your skin rash-free. Mosquito bites are a big problem during this season, and the neem bath will help to heal and disinfect any bites you might get.
  • Neem baths can also help with PUPPPs (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques), a common pregnancy rash that most often takes place during the later stages of pregnancy and spreads to the arms, buttocks and legs.
  • A gentle and soothing Neem oil massage can be beneficial during pregnancy. It will relieve the itchiness that generally accompanies pregnancy due to the stretching of the skin, and it will reduce the appearance of stretch marks if done regularly. Remember to mix this with your choice of carrier oil.
  • Applying Neem products will also help any skin problems that tend to occur during pregnancy such as acne and cholestasis of pregnancy.

Neem leaves paste

How to Prepare Neem Water for Neem Bath During Pregnancy?

Neem water baths during pregnancy are believed to offer relief from various skin conditions and promote overall well-being. However, it’s essential to approach the preparation with caution due to the potential risks associated with neem consumption during pregnancy. Here’s a guide on how to prepare neem water for a bath during pregnancy, ensuring safety and effectiveness.

  • Obtain fresh neem leaves from a reliable source.
  • Rinse the neem leaves under running water to remove any dirt or contaminants.
  • Place the washed neem leaves in a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Allow the neem leaves to simmer in the water for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Let the neem water cool down to a comfortable temperature suitable for a bath.
  • Once cooled, strain the neem water to remove any residue or particles.
  • Pour the strained neem water into your bathwater and mix it well.

Does Neem Cause a Miscarriage?

In Ayurveda, women are advised not to consume any neem for pregnancy during the first five months of pregnancy as it tends to generate a lot of heat in the body. This is dangerous as the body may then treat the baby as a foreign object and will try to force it out, causing a miscarriage. This causes many pregnant women to worry about Neem causing miscarriages.

There is no concrete scientific research done on this subject; the only research that has been done was done on mice and primates where extremely high doses of Neem seed extract caused baboons to have miscarriages.

While ingesting a little Neem accidentally is alright during pregnancy, it is better not to do it intentionally to avoid any unforeseen complications as there is no guideline on how much can be harmful to you and your baby. After all, primates are very closely related to humans, and it is just not worth the risk.

Neem oil

Cautionary Tips

Here are some cautionary tips for you to keep in mind:

  • Neem should not be used in large amounts, especially in the form of concentrated extracts.
  • It is alright to use Neem cosmetic and skincare products for topical uses.
  • Do not use any concentrated Neem extracts inside the vagina, as this can be dangerous for the baby.
  • Refrain from taking neem supplements or any products containing concentrated neem extracts orally, as they can pose risks to the pregnancy.
  • If you accidentally ingest neem or experience any adverse reactions after using neem products during pregnancy, seek immediate medical attention for evaluation and guidance.

FAQs

1. Is it safe to drink neem juice during pregnancy?

No, it is not safe to drink neem juice during pregnancy. Neem contains compounds that may lead to miscarriage or premature birth. It’s best to avoid neem consumption in any form during pregnancy.

2. Are neem supplements safe for pregnant women?

Neem supplements are not considered safe for pregnant women. Ingesting neem supplements can pose risks to both the mother and the baby, potentially leading to adverse outcomes. It’s advisable for pregnant women to avoid neem supplements and consult with a healthcare provider for safe alternatives.

This was all about neem and pregnancy. As long as you do not ingest it in large amounts, neem in pregnancy can be used to relieve the different problems you can face during this period. It is best to consult with your doctor if you feel like you may want to consume Neem for health reasons.

References/Resources:

1. Appendix B breakthroughs in population control? (Neem: A Tree For Solving Global Problems); National Library of Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234639/

2. Upadhyay. S, Kaushic. C, Talwar. G; Antifertility effects of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil by single intrauterine administration: a novel method for contraception; Proceedings of the Royal Society B; The Royal Society Publishing; https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.1990.0121; December 1990

3. Tiwari. M, Gupta. A, Prasad. S, Tripathi. A, et al.; Neem (Azadirachta Indica L.) and Oocyte Quality; Global Journal of Reproductive Medicine; https://juniperpublishers.com/gjorm/GJORM.MS.ID.555553.php; April 2017

4. Mukherjee. S, Lohiya. N, Pal. R, Sharma. M, Talwar. G; Purified neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extracts (Praneem) abrogate pregnancy in primates; Contraception; https://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/0010-7824(96)00088-1/fulltext; June 1996

5. Enwerem. N, Amos. S; Azadirachta indica A. juss: Safety and Efficacy during Pregnancy and Lactation; Nursing and Primary Care; https://www.scivisionpub.com/pdfs/azadirachta-indica-a-juss-safety-and-efficacy-during-pregnancy-and-lactation-114.pdf

6. Dallaqua. B, Saito. F, Rodrigues. T, et al.; Azadirachta indica treatment on the congenital malformations of fetuses from rats (Journal of Ethnopharmacology); Science Direct; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874113007538; December 2013

Also Read:

Eating Betel Leaf (Paan) in Pregnancy
Is Consuming Mint During Pregnancy Safe?
Is Consumption of Curry Leaves Good in Pregnancy?

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