You may have seen the recommendation to take neem capsules for acne.
Now let's assume you understand what causes acne, you live a healthy lifestyle, you follow a suitable, gentle skin care regime and you already do everything that can be done externally.
Does it make sense to combat acne from the inside as well?
Taking neem leaf capsules "cleanses the blood", and cleansing the blood will clean up acne. That is the claim you may have heard.
The ingredient in neem capsules is neem leaf or neem leaf extract. In traditional medicine neem leaf has indeed been recommended and used as a "blood cleanser" for many hundred years.
Modern research shows this is possibly a result of neem's positive effect on the liver (but research in this area is patchy at best).
The liver is one of the most important and impressive organs in your body. One of its many functions is to eliminate and breakdown any toxins. An unhealthy liver will lead to many health problems, and those problems will also show as unhealthy skin. (I won't go into more detail here because this is a complex topic.)
A healthy liver is certainly desirable. Neem does protect and support the liver. But an unhealthy liver is not what causes acne!
If you read through the previous pages on neem and acne, then you already know that acne is not caused by "blood impurities". It is caused by hormonal imbalances and by an overgrowth of bacteria.
Having said that, a well functioning liver will support hormonal balance better than an unhealthy one.
Neem leaves are also known to be very powerful stimulators of the immune system. Again, a healthy immune system will also be reflected in healthy, radiant skin.
But acne is not caused by a weak immune system. Acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. This imbalance causes clogged oil glands which then become infected. How bad this infection is will be influenced by how efficient the immune system is.
Rather than calling neem leaf just a stimulator, I prefer to refer to its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It can reduce inflammation and can help bring an out of balance immune system back into balance.
These are of course properties that are very desirable for acne sufferers. But also here you need to keep in mind that you can not expect miracles if on the other hand your diet and lifestyle increase inflammation and burden the immune system
Neem has also been shown to have antihyperglycaemic properties. Big word. It means neem tends to reduce high blood sugar.
We already know that acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. But did you know that wild blood sugar swings or perpetually elevated blood sugar can cause or aggravate such hormonal imbalances?
Blood sugar first and foremost is influenced by diet. You must change your diet if you want to improve your blood sugar control. Neem can only support you, it can not make up for a bad diet.
So whether you focus on the liver, the immune system, or your blood sugar, taking a pill or capsule can not replace eating a diet and leading a lifestyle that supports your skin health.
Neem capsules can support your liver, immune system and blood sugar, they may help you deal with environmental stresses and with the unhealthy things that you put into your body, and they may help your skin.
Many people take neem capsules as a regular supplement to support their overall health, and neem capsules may help you. But neem capsules are not a magical quick fix for acne. They are only one part of any acne treatment regime.
Make sure you understand your acne, the different factors that come together to cause it, and then develop a comprehensive approach. This includes skin care appropriate for acne, diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.
As part of a comprehensive program like that, neem capsules can be very valuable and effective indeed.
But before you go and buy those neem capsules for acne, I recommend you also read the page on taking neem leaves.
There are two kinds of capsules: those that contain dried, powdered leaf, and those that contain a leaf extract.
Capsules with neem leaf extract are very powerful and need to be used with care.
Dried leaf capsules are the least effective way to use neem leaves. If using the leaves, fresh leaves would be best, followed by neem tea made from fresh or dried neem leaves.
Next page: Neem Powder and Acne