Neem Disadvantages

Neem oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the fruit of the neem trees that grow in Asia and India.The oil has many different uses and can be used to successfully treat various medical conditions. However, when using neem oil to treat a medical condition, it should be diluted with water. Also, like any other medication, neem oil also has some disadvantages that you should consider before using this essential oil.

A neem plant growing in a garden. (Image: mansum008/iStock/Getty Images)

Strong Smell

One of the worst disadvantages of using neem oil is the very pungent smell it gives off. According to the Discover Neem website, the scent is very sulfurous. However, it is the pungent smell that makes it useful as a bug repellent. But the smell is so strong that it can easily sicken someone who is not used to it. To reduce this bad smell, many people choose to dilute or mix the oil with other better-smelling oils such as peppermint oil.

Bitter Taste

According to the Neem Foundation, neem oil has a very bitter taste that is not agreeable to many people. Neem oil is usually reserved for some type of bodily application for an illness or condition or to use as a bug repellent. Drinking the oil can cause nausea and vomiting for some people with sensitive stomachs or people who are very sensitive to taste and smell. Therefore, some people make a tea out of the neem tree leaves that is somewhat less bitter and less dangerous than drinking the oil.


According to the Discover Neem website, neem oil is sometimes ingested in India and Asia to treat various diseases and conditions. However, neem has resulted in severe illness and death of adults and children. It is especially dangerous to babies and children. According to the Discover Neem website, in a study performed in 1982 it was found that neem ingested by children or infants causes swelling of the brain, damage to the liver and other organs and can be potentially fatal.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.