IS NEEM GOOD FOR CHIL­DREN?

Friday - - Advice -

QMy two small chil­dren of­ten get cold and coughs. I was think­ing of giv­ing them a cap­sule of neem ev­ery day to build their im­mu­nity. Is it a good idea?

ANeem or Azadirachta in­dica has been used in Ayurveda for thou­sands of years to main­tain health. It is one of the main in­gre­di­ents in blood pu­rifi­ca­tion for­mu­las and in most tra­di­tional di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion. It is also used for arthri­tis, rheuma­tism, for fevers in­clud­ing malaria, and to treat ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal par­a­sites. Neem twigs and leaves have been used by mil­lions of peo­ple in In­dia to brush their teeth and cleanse their gums and pro­mote oral hy­giene. In Ayurveda, the bark of the neem tree is con­sid­ered an im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent that will strengthen an in­di­vid­ual’s re­sis­tance to dis­ease.

Many mod­ern clin­i­cal stud­ies have iden­ti­fied a num­ber of com­pounds in neem that can ef­fec­tively reg­u­late the func­tions of the im­mune sys­tem. How­ever, in my opin­ion, for chil­dren, it is not ad­vis­able to give neem ev­ery day as it could ag­gra­vate cer­tain con­di­tions such as asthma. There are sev­eral tra­di­tional com­pound medicines pre­scribed in Ayurveda texts that can boost chil­dren’s im­mu­nity. De­pend­ing on the con­sti­tu­tion of your child and his/her health con­di­tions, an Ayurvedic doc­tor would be able to pre­scribe the proper tonic to boost im­mu­nity.

ASHA JONES is an Ayurveda prac­ti­tioner at Dubai Herbal & Treat­ment Cen­tre

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