Eating out of season and being disconnected with nature’s cycles may be behind unwanted bacterial biofilms building up in the intestines. (4,6)
Biofilms are naturally-occurring bacterial colonies that form in both humans and the environment. They are basically slimy, glue-like, protective sheaths that bacterial organisms form around themselves.
By being proactive with your diet, you can make great strides in ensuring gut and immune health by empowering the body’s natural defenses against unwanted bacterial biofilm build-up.
Perhaps the simplest way to accomplish this is to eat what’s in season. Print my Spring and Summer Grocery Lists here and start eating the way mother nature originally intended, or sign up for my free monthly seasonal eating guide, The 3 Season Challenge.
For thousands of years, Ayurveda has used one spring- and summer-harvested herb to create the perfect intestinal environment for healthy digestion, elimination, and immunity. (1,2)
This herb was traditionally dubbed “The Village Pharmacy,” acclaimed for its ability to support numerous organs and organ systems of the body. (1)
In this article and video, I will share the science now revealing the mechanism behind the many benefits of this herb.
Neem: The Biofilm Blaster
Neem (Azadirachta indica), which literally means, “The Free Tree of India,” is a broad leaf tree that is mostly evergreen except for in severe drought conditions. Neem’s use has been recorded back some 4500 years in the extremely advanced Indus valley civilization. (1)
While the leaves, bark, branches, flowers, fruits, and seeds of this tree are all used, the leaves and seeds are considered the most powerful. (1,2)
Neem leaves are loaded with a complex variety of constituents including nimbin, nimbidin, nimbolide, and limonoids, as well as a host of flavonoids such as quercetin and ß-sitosterol. (2)
Neem benefits are widespread throughout the body. Studies show that this herb: (1,2,3)
- Supports immunity
- Promotes blood sugar levels already within a normal range
- Maintains healthy bile flow
- Promotes the body’s natural liver protecting mechanisms
- Supports the integrity of the skin that wraps the body externally and that lines the arteries, intestines, lungs and more
- Contains antioxidant-forming constituents
- Supports healthy stomach acid production
- Supports normal kidney function
- Promotes healthy complexion
- Maintains beneficial oral bacteria
- Boosts natural glutathione production necessary to clearing unwanted biofilms out of the small intestine
How Does Neem Support So Many Systems?
To play such a global role in human health for so long, neem must work on a very deep level of the body.
Ayurveda emphasizes that the most powerful effects on the body’s health are usually the most subtle. We are also seeing this in modern science.
We now know that the body’s gut bacteria, which Ayurveda referred to as krimi, play a role in all realms of human health. Neem has always been considered an herb that creates an environment detrimental to bad bacterial residents of the microbiome while supporting populations of good bacteria.
The newest science is beginning to understand the mechanism of how neem does this.
It turns out that neem is antagonistic to biofilms that create safe havens for bacteria to flourish, take root on the intestinal wall, and can negatively impact gut microbiology. (4,5,6)
Inhibiting unwanted biofilm accumulation allows the body’s natural gut immunity—which is driven by beneficial bacteria—to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad intestinal bacteria. (4-6)
Neem is well-documented to be unsupportive to the proliferation of undesirable bacteria. (1-3) To accomplish this, it was traditional to harvest and eat the leaves of the neem tree to support overall health, well-being, and immunity.
It is said that eating the leaves in the months just before spring (January and February) would jump-start immunity and that the benefits would last a full year.
The Queen of the Skin
One of neem’s greatest claims to fame is its powerful support for a healthy complexion.
Generally, the leaves, fruit and seeds were eaten all spring and summer to support the appearance of healthy radiant skin, earning it the nickname, the “Queen of the Skin.” The little-known truth is that neem supports the outer skin by supporting the inner skin.
The skin that lines your gut wall is the most important skin of the body. It is here that neem’s benefits are the most dramatic.
Incredibly, perhaps as a spring cleaning back up plan, neem leaves have the ability to perform many of the same actions that the bitter roots, greens, and berries accomplish each spring—the scrubbing, cleansing, and fertilizing of the intestinal wall.
By promoting a healthy intestinal environment each spring and summer, neem allows for the proliferation of beneficial gut microbes. The more we bolster a healthy microbial environment in the spring and summer, the better the gut can perform as your first defense.
One could say that optimal health is all about the skin—inner and outer. The skin on both the inside and outside of the body is home to trillions of microbes that support optimal health.
Neem may be the original prebiotic, as it seems to encourage the necessary environment the gut requires to unleash the body’s most powerful immune response—gut immunity.
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Neem is a scrub for the intestinal villi, antagonistic to bacterial biofilm accumulation (4-6), and it is naturally cleansing and detoxing for the blood, skin, and liver. (1-3)
It supports the proliferation of good intestinal bacteria without supporting the growth of bad intestinal bacteria.
From here, neem seems to acts so powerfully throughout the body by addressing the subtle, microscopic environment of the microbiome. (1-6)
Consider neem as a whole body immune booster, spring-summer cleanser, and herbal support for your precious microbiome.