Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Toxicity of Herbs and Oils: Pets - A Departure from My Usual Posts for Those Who Have Pets

Neem oil: animals
I knew toxicity existed for neem (aka: margosa, Azadirachta indica, A. indica) oil and mice from the research I had previously done for the post below this one. However, it is not the only one, and mice are not the only animals affected.

Bold and color added to text by me.

"ESSENTIAL, 'HERBAL', OIL POISONING", color and bolding added by me
"Essential Oils, volatile oils extracted from plants ... components of 'herbal' medicines such as flea or tick treatments or other products can be toxic in dogs and/or cats. Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil, Neem (Margosa) Oil, Pennyroyal Oil, Potpourri Oil, Pine Oil, Peppermint Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Clove Oil, Thyme Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Rosemary Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, and d-Limonene have been in products associated with signs of toxicity."

2012. from the link above "Retrospective study from 2006 to 2008."
"Adverse reactions from essential oil-containing natural flea products exempted from Environmental Protection Agency regulations in dogs and cats", color and bolding added by me
"Dogs and cats can experience significant adverse effects when exposed to plant-derived flea preventatives even when used according to label directions.

"Essential Oil and Liquid Potpourri Toxicity in Dogs and Cats", color and bolding added by me
"Essential oils are the concentrated liquids (volatile organic compounds) of plants. ... use in aromatherapy ... alternative medicine ... in cleaning products, food and drink flavorings, herbal remedies, ... personal care products ... Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous ... Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic. ... Essential oils and liquid potpourris contain chemicals ... rapidly absorbed orally or through the skin. Many of these chemicals are metabolized through the liver. ... cats lack some of the enzymes necessary to effectively metabolize these chemicals. ... can also irritate or burn the skin and mouth. ... Only a couple of licks or a small amount on the skin could be harmful."

"Understanding the toxicity of lilies 
"many common lilies are extremely toxic to cats ... All parts of the plant are toxic ... leaves, stems, pollen" 

I have seen raw garlic recommended online for flea and tick control - Toxic!
"Hidden Dangers in the Kitchen: Common Foods Toxic to Dogs and Cats" 
"Most cases of toxicosis are attributed to a single episode of accidental ingestion of raw onion or feeding of foods containing onions or garlic."

"Herbal and Other Natural Products Pose Intoxication Risks to Pets"

Email Reply: Reports online neem oil, pets
I found this among others like it when I decided to research neem oil and pets.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Neem Oil (Margosa Oil) Safety and Uses

I will be adding to this post.

Neem, 2018 
"inadequate clinical trials to support specific therapeutic doses … poisoning … infants … oral … oil … seizures, coma, hepatoencephalopathy, and death … Management of poisoning … largely symptomatic … no specific antidote available"

hepatic encephalopathy
"Loss of brain function occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood … Causes … include … Poisoning by different toxins or medicines"

"Neem Oil Poisoning as a Cause of Toxic Encephalopathy in an Infant"
"Poisoning is usually accidental by nasal or oral administered to infants and children for cough and cold, pain abdomen, and deworming; or rarely suicidal ... Even small doses can cause toxicity include vomiting, drowsiness, generalized seizures, coma, and severe metabolic acidosis especially in infants and young children ... Prognosis is usually good, however, delayed milestones, long term neurodeficits, recurrent seizures, abnormal ... (EEG), and deaths have been observed ... Since neem oil is commonly used as traditional medicine in India, its poisoning is not uncommon. ... pediatricians should be aware of this condition and public should be educated regarding the safe use of neem oil."

The bolding and color of text in all quotes is by me. The information speaks for itself. These are not studies. They are case reports. The information in this post is not new in that references of other case reports go back years! The question is Why is neem oil still being promoted with no cautions as if there are none? The short answer is it is not as profitable to include them. For those who promote health fraud, the lack of cautions does not surprise me in the least. They buy fake followers, reviews, and comments to stoke their ego, and further their agenda (sales), with no regard for consumers. However, they cannot buy credibility, and it cannot be faked. Credibility comes with reputable evidence, which they cannot produce about what they promote because it does not exist. It is also being reported in scientific literature, that within alternative therapy communities there is a lack of or underreporting of adverse events, that are nonetheless observed! 


"A rare case of toxic optic neuropathy secondary to consumption of neem oil", Full text;year=2014;volume=62;issue=3;spage=337;epage=339;aulast=Suresha


"A Systematic Review of the Reporting of Adverse Events Associated With Medical Herb Use Among Children"
"There is considerable need for improvement in reporting adverse events in children following herb use."


"Neem oil poisoning: Case report of an adult with toxic encephalopathy", Full text


Neem oil
"Herbal remedy is natural and safe"--truth or myth?"


"Hepatotoxic Botanicals - An Evidence-based Systematic Review", Under Margosa oil
"The hepatotoxicity of herbs was extensively acknowledged. ... Further scientific studies with high and good quality are needed to identify toxic compounds and understand the exact mechanism of hepatotoxicity-induced by herbs."
Table 1 lists the botanicals discussed in detail, Pages 402-404. Just: control f, type 402, and hit enter to access it quickly (you have to scroll up a bit to start at the Table beginning). A control f keyword or number search is a great way to find, or check if something you are looking for is in a long document. If what you are looking for is in the document more than once, hitting enter repeatedly will take you to all locations.

"The easy availability of margosa oil and its promotion without proper warning of these life threatening side effects warrant legislative measures and active awareness. This is a potentially toxic chemical and should be used with vigilance." Amen to that!

"Neem Oil Poisoning" - reference #6 in above link and heartbreaking!, Full text
"Exact toxicity level doses for humans are not known."

2015 - regarding skin, scalp issues - neem - STILL unproven effectiveness, and safety - neem aka Azadirachta indica, A. indica

"Antifungal activity by ethanolic extracts of medicinal plants against Malassezia furfur: A potential application in the treatment of Dandruff", color and bolding added by me
"Dandruff is one of the most afflicting problem confronted in healthcare and cosmetics. Malassezia sp. is an opportunistic pathogen on the normal skin flora which is a causative of dandruff under unfavourable conditions. Traditionally dandruff is treated using a large number of medicinal herbs but the complete cure is far from reach. The present investigation dealt with study of the potentiality of Evolvulus alsinoides, Lawsonia inermis, Hibiscus rosasinensis, Azadirachta indica and Murraya koenigii against Malassezia furfur. ... The work was also emphasized in determining the minimum fungicidal concentration of each plant extracts against Malassezia sp. to know the efficiency of the herbs in treating dandruff. The results obtained were promising that it would help in formulating a polyherbal mixture to treat dandruff and enrich hair growth." = UNPROVEN
Neem, curry leaf extracts, against selected bacteria and fungus, also 2015, color and bolding added by me
"further studies need to be done ... for the fungal pathogen ... all 3 extracts of A. indica were ineffective"

When it comes to product safety BOTH short-term AND long-term safety data needs to be compiled, and confirmed - NOT just what was observed in one short study! For example, probiotics "the data on safety, particularly long-term safety, are limited", 2016, 

Natural Standard - neem oil uses - All grade C: "Unclear scientific evidence for this use" = UNPROVEN EFFECTIVENESS!