Since ancient times neem and its products have been used to cure many skin, dental and other diseases. But on the other hand neem oil is also used as pesticide and insecticide which means that neem oil has poisonous substances that can harm you too. Neem oil poisoning in children has been proved in many studies. Even the small dose of neem oil in children can cause seizures, and loss of life as well. Severity of the problem depends upon the dose of neem oil ingested. So neem oil should only be used externally for its benefits. Neem oil is obtained by crushing the neem seeds.
Neem should never be given to children (under the age of 12) because of associated neem disadvantages. Also never treat your ill child with neem as neem contains aspirin like substances that can lead to Reye Syndrome. Do not take any neem product internally if you are planning to conceive or pregnant.
Neem oil today is extensively used as natural pesticide because of active compound 'azadirachtin'. Neem oil is extremely beneficial to treat skin disorders, eczema and psoriasis. By using neem oil you can get rid off dandruff, itchy scalp and lice. But this beneficial tree and its products are not free from disadvantages.
Possible side effects of neem are visible within few minutes and first few hours of ingestion. Depending upon the amount of neem oil taken the types of side effects vary. According to RxList.com it can be diarrhea, vomiting and drowsiness and the more severe neem side effects are blood disorders, seizure and sudden death in certain cases.
In Indian Pediatrics report (2008) use of neem oil for treating cold by putting drops of neem oil in nose has been explained. It has been shown that accidental ingestion of neem oil leads to seizures, coma and even death. A five year old boy who ingested neem oil had shown severe seizures along with cardiac arrest. Although that boy had been saved but with permanent loss of speech, memory and motor deficits. According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database neem is not safe for children.
Study Neem Oil and its Effect on mice has been conducted by Researchers at the University of Singapore for the Journal of Pathology in 1989. Neem oil has resulted in fatty liver and swollen brain just like Reye's Syndrome. Reye's Syndrome is a viral disease that occurs in children and teens. Just after few minutes of ingesting neem oil, followed the vomiting, loose stools and lethargy symptoms in mice. But still what amount of dose causes these problems is still under question.
Do not use neem oil internally. Children, pregnant and nursing women should avoid neem. By consuming neem oil many infants have suffered from death. Using neem oil for a longer period of time leads to kidney dysfunction. Consult your doctor before using neem. Keep neem oil away from children and pets.