Science investigation: Can the Neem tree prevent periodontal diseases?

A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at whether neem tree (Azadirachta indica) can prevent certain periodontal diseases.

  • Researchers from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem looked at the antibacterial effects of neem leaf extract on the periodontopathic bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, which cause periodontitisThey also assessed its antioxidant properties alone and in combination with bacteria and polycationic peptides chlorhexidine and lysozyme that may be present at the area of inflammation.
  • They prepared the neem leaf extra through ethanol extraction. They also measured the growth of the periodontopathic bacterial strains under anaerobic conditions in the presence of neem leaf extract.
  • To determine the minimal inhibitory concentration of neem leaf extract against each bacterial strain, they used broth microdilution test. Moreover, they assessed the effect of neem leaf extract on bacterial coaggregation through a visual semi-quantitative assay. Finally, they determined the antioxidant effects of neem leaf extract alone and together with bacteria, with the inclusion of red blood cells or the polycationic peptides with the use of a chemiluminescence assay.
  • The results revealed that neem leaf extract exhibited significant dose-dependent antibacterial activity against P. gingivalis. However, neem leaf extract did not affect the growth of F. nucleatum and the coaggregation of the two bacteria. Nonetheless, the extract exhibited potent antioxidant activity, which intensified after the adherence to bacteria and with the addition of red blood cells or the polycationic peptides.

In conclusion, neem leaf extract can potentially provide long-lasting antibacterial and antioxidant effects against periodontal diseases when combined with bacteria, red blood cells, and lysozyme.

For the full text of the study, go to this link.

Journal Reference:

Heyman L, Houri-Haddad Y, Heyman SN, Ginsburg I, Gleitman Y, Feuerstein O. COMBINE ANTIOXIDANT EFFECTS OF NEEM EXTRACT, BACTERIA, RED BLOOD CELLS AND LYSOZYME: POSSIBLE RELATION TO PERIODONTAL DISEASE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017; 17 (399). DOI:

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