H(2)-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors are now used extensively to control gastric and duodenal ulcer, inflammation and pain, but these drugs have limitations and are not always affordable. The development of novel nontoxic antiulcer drugs, including from medicinal plants, is therefore desirable, and Azadirachta indica A. Juss, commonly known as Neem, is known to have potent gastroprotective and antiulcer effects. This review deals with the pharmacological and biochemical studies carried out regarding the antiulcer activities of Neem extracts and their mechanism of action, including the inhibition of acid secretion. A comparison with ranitidine and omeprazole in some animal models has been included and clinical studies, where available, have also been incorporated, along with a safety evaluation. Neem bark extract has the potential for the development of novel medicines for the therapeutic control of gastric hyperacidity and ulcer.
(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.