What is Neem?

Neem (Azadirachta Indica)

NeemNeem is one of the very important trees according to Ayurveda. It is useful in dental diseases, skin diseases, fever, cough, vomiting, nausea, thirst, diabetes, tumours, jaundice, rheumatism, arthritis and obesity.

Part Used

From leaves to roots, stems and twigs, every part of the tree has some therapeutic value associated to it.

Characteristics of Neem

Neem tree is indigenous to the Indian sub-continent and is found throughout India. The tree could reach up to a height of about 15 to 20 meters. The leaves are about 3-8 cm in length. Neem tree has small white flowers which are placed axially in drooping panicles. The fruits are yellow coloured and olive shaped. The tree belongs to the Meliaceae family.

Nutrient Composition

  • Nimbidin
  • Sodium Nimbidate
  • Nimbin
  • Nimbolide
  • Gedunin
  • Azadirachtin
  • Mahmoodin
  • Gallic acid
  • Epicatehin
  • Catechin
  • Margolone
  • Margolonone
  • Isomargolonone
  • Cyclic trisuphide
  • Cyclic tetrasulphid
  • Polysaccharides GIa  GIb, GIIa, GIIIa and NB-IIpeptidoglycan.

Therapeutic Uses:

Neem Capsules

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  • Hair Care: A decoction prepared from the leaves of Neem is used as a head wash to prevent premature graying of hair, hair loss and to remove lice infestation and dandruff.
  • Jaundice: Juice of neem leaves (15 – 30 ml) and half the quantity of honey is taken on an empty stomach for seven days.
  • Stomatitis: For infantile stomatitis 10 -15 dry neem leaves along with 5gms of Pippali (long pepper) and honey should be ground and applied on the tongue.
  • Worms: The juice of neem leaves (10 ml) along with honey and asafetida powder (5gms) removes intestinal worms in children.
  • Stomach Problems: 5gms of dried neem flowers mixed and fried with 5gms each of rock salt, old tamarind, chillies and curry leaves is prepared into a chutney and given in conditions such as vomiting, anorexia, sour belching and worms.
  • Urticaria: A decoction of neem bark, sandal and guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is taken internally.
  • Piles: Four seeds of neem powdered and mixed with warm water and taken as a drink on empty stomach for a week stops bleeding in piles. The seeds of neem fried along with copper sulphate and mixed well with coconut oil is beneficial as an ointment for piles.

Cures of Ailments

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties: Neem extracts possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
  • Anti-ulcer properties: The extracts of Neem leaves have shown ulcer controlling properties in scientific studies.
  • Anti-microbial properties: Neem leaf, bark and stem extracts possess high microbial controlling properties. Neem extracts control species of fungi, bacteria and viruses. The antibacterial properties of neem are also very good in controlling oral bacteria which are responsible for propagating gum diseases. Traditionally, neem twigs were used as toothbrushes for hundreds of years in India.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can be controlled significantly by administering the leaf extracts of Neem.
  • Protection of liver: Liver is one of the organs having a major role in the metabolism of the food that we eat. During this process, the liver can be damaged due to various factors e.g. free radicals and other chemicals. If left unchecked, liver can be damaged beyond repair. Taking neem on a regular basis can prevent damage to the liver with its antioxidants and by counteracting on chemicals which induce liver necrosis.
  • Controls malaria:  Neem extracts are also used against chloroquine resistant and sensitive viruses alike, which are causative factors for malaria.