6 Worse Side Effects Of Neem

neem leaf side effects

Neem is one of the most important medicinal herbs with amazing health benefits and medicinal uses but like with any herb, it is important to get to know its side effects to correctly use it and also to prevent any ill effects. We mainly use neem for external application and have never experienced any problems using it for hair and skin care. We do consume neem leaves and neem juice occasionally as a remedy and few people consume neem oil too. More than external application, we should be extremely careful when consuming it especially neem oil.

What Is Neem?

Neem also commonly called margossa is a large tree that is native to India. Neem is widely used in all forms of Indian medicine like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani and many important Indian herbal formulations contains neem as a base ingredient. We use neem in the form of neem oil, neem powder and neem juice.

neem oil side effects

6 Top Side Effects Of Neem

1. Neem Allergy

In my personal experience, I haven’t seen anyone allergic to neem leaves at all and we use all parts of neem extensively in home remedies. But I found a study where a person who took neem leaves for three consecutive days suffer from allergic contact stomatitis. And very rarely some people experience leucoderma on the lips after using neem tooth brush, the condition reverses once they stop using neem toothbrush.

2. Antifertility Properties

All parts of neem including neem bark, neem flowers and neem oil have antifertility properties so if you are trying for pregnancy, I would highly suggest not consuming neem based products for sometime. The anti fertility property is reversible immediately once you stop taking neem products so please don’t worry if you are taking neem based products and want to get pregnant.

3. During Pregnancy

Internal consumption of neem extract in any form should be avoided during pregnancy as it can cause abortion. In our village, even using neem twigs as toothbrush by pregnant women is not advised. Some women use neem based intimate washes regularly and I would suggest being careful about that too if you are pregnant or trying for pregnancy.

4. Renal Failure

Like with any ingredient, dosage is very very important when it comes to consuming neem extract on a regular basis else it can cause a lot of side effects including kidney failure and you can read a study that supports this claim here. When you are planning to consume neem based extract for long durations of time, seek the advice of a good ayurvedic doctor for the correct dosage based on your body type.

5. Neem Oil Poisoning

Neem oil should not be given to young kids. Unfortunately in some communities it is used as a home remedy for treating cold, cough, stomach pain and for deworming. There was a case where a woman gave 5 ml of neem oil to her 3 month old son for treating indigestion which led to unconsciousness of the baby.

Thankfully after medical treatment he got better and was discharged but parents should be extremely careful about giving neem oil to their children. There was also a reported case of toxic optic neuropathy in a 35 year old women who took 150 ml of neem oil. She experienced bilateral loss of vision for 2 days which improved after hospitalisation.

6. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Neem extract is used as a traditional remedy for reducing high blood sugar levels and this has been proven through research too. But this has to be done under clinical supervision as when we consume both neem extract and diabetic medication at the same time, it can lower the blood sugar levels drastically leading to dizziness.  If you are a diabetic patient who is considering taking neem extract for reducing high blood sugar levels, please mention it to your physician before doing so.

neem powder side effects


  1. Niveditha Kamalakannan
    July 20, 2015 / 11:17 am

    should we apply this regularly or we should apply for some time and wash the hair

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 27, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      Apply for some time and wash the hair, but try not to skip the tea tree oil in the recipe…

    • Niveditha Kamalakannan
      July 28, 2015 / 5:55 am

      thank u so much for ur tips mam…. and this blog is really awesome… and i expect a lot more receips from you…

  2. Anonymous
    October 6, 2015 / 1:03 pm

    hi ramya kai am easwari 23yrs i love this blog very much so i wish to ask usorry for the long post eagerly waiting for u r replythanks in advance1)i have more dandruff for past few yrs have long hair till hip now reduced to shoulder above in thin manneri use nalla ennai strach my head with comb for flakes to fall&bath with meera shikkai &lorel paris anti dandruff shampooonce a week aftr seeing this blog i startd using fenugreek maska)i want to know how many times a week should i apply this ?for immediate cure b)should use tis oil daily aha?c)of lately i have developed more i thought it it is dandruff now i have doubt whether its dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psorasisno red marks as more white flakes on scalp if startched comes out as big white patch in nails are there fall on shoulders chest and make body develop red bumps as acnei am confused i want to identify what it is?d)if one above what is the oil and mask remedies for permanent cure?pls reply me soon

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 8, 2015 / 5:33 pm

      Hi Eswari, I am very glad that you like the blog 🙂 I prefer to use it weekly twice or thrice as I love the hair mask and I let it soak for 30 minutes as I find it is very effective if left in the hair for that long. I would suggest you try the hair mask regularly for at least 2 weeks along with homemade amla oil application regularly. If the problem still persists please let me know…

    • Anonymous
      October 9, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      hi ramya tis is easwarithanks a lot for ur replywill surely follow ur suggestions and let u know itthank u once again

  3. Anonymous
    October 8, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    there's alot of neem flowers on my backyard, but i dont even know what to do with that, now i know how to do what i need to do, thanks you very much Wild Turmeric, love this blog so much, it's very helpful

  4. Anonymous
    October 11, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Can I use dried neem leaf or leaf powder instead of neem flowers?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 14, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      Yes, you can add neem leaf or the pure neem powder too..

  5. Anonymous
    November 6, 2015 / 10:41 am

    hi Ramya kaThis is Easwari .Hope ur fine& thanks for ur suggestion.i have used it weekly twice or thrice the hair mask with oil application as per ur suggestion my hair is soft to touch than before butnow thick crust is been into flakes on scalp & near front side of earlobes ,on forehead ,at eyebrows ,at the back neck, sides of the the earit is visible on scalp i doubt of scalp psorasis it is embarrassingplease help wait for ur replyThank you once again

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 8, 2015 / 5:45 pm

      Eswari, can u please share a photo of it through wildturmeric facebook message?

  6. Anonymous
    July 2, 2016 / 5:39 am

    Ramya this is jeni hope u and ur family members r in good health.very awesome blog.can I apply this oil daily for my daughters?Lot of lice and nits are there. One cup of oil means 100ml or what?Facial hairs are there for my daughters can I apply turmeric oil at night and wash it in the morning. Will the face be yellowish.expecting ur reply soon.Thanks in advance.

  7. Anonymous
    July 2, 2016 / 5:53 am

    Hai ramya this is jeni.can I apply this oil for my daughters daily?They have lice and nits. For how many months I should continue this?for facial hair cani apply turmeric oil at night and wash it in the morning. This is also for my daughtrrs. Expecting ur reply soon. Thanks in advance.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 14, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      Hi Jenni, I am very sorry for the late reply. You can use this neem oil for your daughters to treat head lice. But don't forget to add tea tree oil. Continue using it daily for 2 to 3 weeks and once they are rid of lice completely, then you can slowly reduce it to weekly once. For removing facial hair, I would suggest using the rose petal bath powder from the blog, it is more effective…

  8. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Hai ramya this is jeni hope u and ur family members r in good health. Can I apply this oil daily for my daughters ? Lot of lice and nits are there. Reg. Turmeric oil can I apply that oil in night and wash off in the morning? This is also for my daughters they have facial hair. And also in hands and legs. Reply soon.

  9. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 / 9:00 am

    Ramya jeni again one cup of oil means ? 500ml r 1ltr?

  10. Anonymous
    July 14, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    Ramya jeni again thanks for ur reply. One cup of oil means 100ml or 250ml?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2016 / 9:32 am

      Jeni, I am very sorry for not being clear, I will update this post very soon, it was one of my first posts :). Use around 150 ml of oil for a handful of neem flowers…

  11. Anonymous
    July 17, 2016 / 8:17 am

    Hai ramya jeni againafter applying this oil should I shampoo the hair make it clear because they r school going kids daily shampooing the hair will not be possible. Pls. Reply .

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 28, 2016 / 3:51 pm

      Jeni, It can be used as a leave in oil but try shampooing alternate days or 2 days once….

  12. Anonymous
    July 24, 2016 / 6:35 am

    Ramya this is jeni pls.reply for my question oil is ready . Should I shampoo the hair after applying the oil.they are school going kids shampooing daily is not possible give me a remedy .

  13. Anonymous
    September 9, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Hi Can you help me with the steps to prepare pure neem oil?

  14. Jesus is coming soon
    March 24, 2018 / 4:17 am

    Been using need for 3 weeks. It isn't getting rid of the lice.

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