Health Benefits of Palm Toddy (Neera) & its Side Effects

Palm Toddy drink is mainly an alcoholic beverage which is collected from the sap of various species of palm trees such as date palms, coconut palms etc. It is also called as palm wine in South India and in Northern parts of India, it is called as Neera. In India, especially in South Indian regions such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, the Palm Toddy Drink is very common. Fresh Palm toddy drink or neera is known to provide excellent health benefits when consumed fresh. The color of the Palm Toddy drink (neer) is white, and the texture of the drink is cloudy. It tastes very sweet, and it is non-alcoholic before fermentation.

Palm toddy drink is collected in the early morning. By the time it gets fermented, it transforms into an alcoholic beverage. It is also called palm wine. After getting fermented, palm toddy turns sour. Palm toddy contains carbohydrate, sugar, protein, amino acid, vitamin C, yeast, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6.

Health Benefits of Palm Toddy (Neera)

Health Benefits of Palm Toddy (Neera)

There are some health benefits of palm toddy which are as follows:

  • Health Benefits for Palm Toddy for Improving Eyesight: Palm toddy (neera) helps to maintain good health of sight. Palm toddy contains the antioxidant, Vitamin C which is known as Ascorbic Acid. Palm toddy contains vitamin B1 which is known as Thiamine, and it too helps to improve the vision. Many people drink the fresh palm toddy for better eyesight. It is a prevalent habit in West and Central Africa.
  • Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Palm Toddy (Neera): Many research shows that it will be helpful to drink a moderate amount of palm toddy as it is very beneficial to reduce the risk of heart disease. Palm toddy (Neera) reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure. Neera contains potassium in it which helps to improve the functioning of the heart and can reduce hypertension. However, excessive amount of palm toddy consumption can be dangerous for health. It can also create some adverse effects such as destroying the liver.
  • Palm Toddy Can Be Beneficial in Fighting Against Cancer: Palm toddy contains Vitamin B2 in it. Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin and is an antioxidant which helps the body to fight against some cancer-causing agents which are known as free radicals. Palm toddy is also taken by the people of Asia, Africa, Mexico, Philippines and Ghana as a cancer-fighting medicine.
  • Helps Maintain Healthy Hair, Nail, and Skin: Palm toddy contains Vitamin B complex and Iron in it, and these components are needed for healthy skin, hair, and nail. Iron is a very essential mineral for the growth and development. It is also very essential for the functioning of some cells in the body. Palm toddy is beneficial in promoting wound healing by repairing some tissues in the body. Palm toddy also promotes the growth of some healthy cells. Palm toddy is also consumed by women in a small quantity to improve the skin tone and complexion.
  • Promotes Lactation: Palm toddy is used as natural healers in many parts of Africa. It also increases the breast milk production in lactating mothers. It is also used for the same benefits in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana. It helps in increasing the breast milk production in the lactating mothers when they face problems with reduced breast milk production.
  • Health Benefits of Palm Toddy (Neera) to Get Relief from Viral Fevers: Palm toddy can be beneficial in providing some relief from the cold and flu. It also prevents cough and sneezing. Palm toddy is very beneficial for improving the normal health conditions as well.

Side Effects of Palm Toddy (Neera)

Along with the benefits, there are also some side effects of Palm today. The over-consumption of palm toddy can be dangerous for the health. Some of the side effects of palm toddy consumption are:

  • Side Effects of Palm Toddy on the Liver: Palm toddy or Neera is an alcoholic drink and over-consumption of palm toddy can damage the liver. Palm toddy contains ethanol in it, and it can affect the lipid metabolism in case of pregnant women. It accumulates fat in the liver and this affecting the normal function of the organ.
  • Hypertension: The significant side effect of Palm toddy is increasing the level of blood pressure and causing hypertension. As same as the alcohol, it affects the function of the body.
  • Side Effects of Palm Toddy on the Nerves: Palm toddy may lead to neurological symptoms such as modifying the body rigidity and muscle contraction. Excessive consumption of palm toddy can weaken the nervous system.
  • Blood Clotting Factor: Excessive consumption of palm toddy can also decrease the blood clotting factors in a body, and for that, it leads to uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Weakening the Heart Muscles: Excessive consumption of palm toddy can weaken the heart muscles. It can also decrease the ability to pump blood.


Drinking fresh palm toddy is beneficial. Palm toddy has numerous health benefits. The taste of the first sip will be able to tell the status of the palm toddy. However, after its fermentation, it affects the health negatively. Do not take it after it gets fermented. Once fermented, it tastes sour and acidic. When the palm toddy drink is fresh, it will feel sweet. Neera is a natural health drink. The containers should be clean all the time to produce good quality of Neera.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 12, 2019

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