Neem plant has been known as the wonder tree for centuries in the Indian sub-continent.
Neem plant is a robust looking tree has been cherished as a symbol of health in the country of its origin, INDIA. Brihat Samita, the ancient Hindu treatise, contains chapter of verse on plant medicines and Neem was highly recommended.
Neem plant is a medium sized to a large tree characterised by its short trunk, furrowed brown to grey bark, and dense rounded crowns pinnate leaves. Native to India, Neem plant is widely planted throughout Asia and Africa. Neem plant is an evergreen of tropics and sub-tropics. It belongs to the family Meliaccase and is a cousin of the Chinaberry. With an extensive and deep root system, the hard Neem can grow luxuriantly even in marginal and leached soils.
The neem flowers profusely between February and May. The honey scented white flowers, found in clusters, turn to a golden source of nectar for the bees. Neem fruits are green drupes which turn golden yellow on ripening in the months of June, July and August. The kernals have 45% oil. The bark yields tannin and gum.
Today, Researchers are saying that Neem could be called “a Wonder Tree” and eventually expect it to benefit everyone on the plant. This tree is expected to usher in a new era in pest control, provide millions with inexpensive medicines, cut down the rate of population growth, reduce erosion, deforestation and control the global warming process. This wonder tree has pesticide, germicidal and medicinal properties, and is capable of solving many problems facing mankind today. The wood is termite resistant and is used for carpentry as well as construction work. These trees grow quickly, thrive on marginal and poor soils, and neutralize soil acidity with its alkaline leaves.
Neem leaf is used for leprosy, eye disorders, bloody nose, intestinal worms, stomach upset, loss of appetite, skin ulcers, diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), fever, diabetes, gum disease (gingivitis), and liver problems. The leaf is also used for birth control and to cause abortions.
Neem plant benefits
The bark is used for malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases, pain, and fever.
The flower is used for reducing bile, controlling phlegm, and treating intestinal worms.
The fruit is used for hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract disorders, bloody nose, phlegm, eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, and leprosy.
Neem twigs are used for cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, low sperm levels, urinary disorders, and diabetes. People in the tropics sometimes chew neem twigs instead of using toothbrushes, but this can cause illness; neem twigs are often contaminated with fungi within 2 weeks of harvest and should be avoided.
Neem leaves are used to treat chickenpox and warts by directly applying to the skin in a paste form or by bathing in water with neem leaves. In order to increase immunity of the body, neem leaves are also taken internally in the form of neem capsules or made into a tea. The tea is traditionally taken internally to reduce fever caused by malaria. This tea is extremely bitter. It is also used to soak feet for treating various foot fungi. It has also been reported to work against termites. In Ayurveda, neem leaves are used in curing neuromuscular pains. Neem leaves are also used in storage of grains.