Neem (Its botanical name is Azadirachta indica) is such a spectacular plant that got me very interested in it-self and almost shocked me with its almost inexhaustible list of uses that it can be put to. And then began my love affair with the neem tree. The more I came to know about it the more I realized that there is still more to be known.
There are many uses of this tree that there is hardly any herb or plant or tree which even comes close to its benefits. The only next best thing I can think of after Neem is green tea (another close friend of mine). I have always wanted to share my knowledge about this wonderful tree widely known in the east but still relatively un- known in the west. It is one of the most potent trees when it comes to medicinal uses and applications. So let’s begin our journey by looking into a bit of history and whereabouts of this wonderful tree.
Neem tree is usually found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma and a few other Asian countries. Its recorded use goes back to more than 5000 years and is even referred to in Vedas as ‘Sarva Roga Nivarini’ which means the ‘The Healer of All Ailments’. Its name neem is derived from its Sanskrit name ‘Nimba’ which is further derived from the term ‘Nimbati Syasthyamdadati’ which means ‘good health’. It is also referred to as the ‘Divine Tree’ or ‘The Life Giving Tree’. It has so many medicinal uses and provides a cure for so many common ailments that it is rightly called ‘Nature’s drugstore’ or ‘Village Pharmacy’.
It has another name in Sanskrit ‘Pinchumada’ which means destroyer of Leprosy. Neem has been used for so many thousands of years now that one of the earliest references to its medicinal properties is found in one of the ancient Indian texts ‘Arthashastra’, written by Kautilya in fourth century BC. In fact two of the most respected Ancient texts, namely ‘Karak Samhita’ and ‘Susruta Samhita’ which form the basis of Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, mention many curative powers and uses of neem.
In fact India which has more than 14 million neem trees is the largest producer of neem related commercial products in areas of medicine, cosmetics and pesticides. In fact every part of the neem tree is useful for making one product or the other. In the past few years there has been extensive research on the health bene- fits, beauty treatments and other uses to ensure the safety of use and study for its effectiveness and side effects. The results are just spectacular.
The Uses of Various Parts of Neem Tree
All parts of neem tree confer innumerable benefits. Bark, leaves, seed, kernel, flow- er, fruit, seed oil extracts and wood make the neem tree as a whole, a promising re- source for medicinal and agricultural purposes. All parts of neem possess medicinal properties thus making this tree a cure for almost all illnesses. The entire tree is widely used for health care in ayurvedic medicines. Neem plays the most important part in the ayurvedic system of Indian medicine. In Indian villages it is commonly referred to as’ village pharmacy’. It has obtained this reputation as almost every common illness occurring in the village has its cure in some or the other part of the neem tree. Every part of the tree from the bark to flowers has a distinct medicinal use. Let us have an overview of the uses of each of the parts of neem tree.
The Importance of Bark and Wood
Neem bark has been used for centuries for curing various medical illnesses .Millions of people use neem twigs as tooth brushes because of its antiseptic properties. It is anti inflammatory in nature and is thus a cure for asthma too. Bark is a bitter, cool, astringent and a refrigerant herb. Bark is itself a cure of many skin diseases and helps in healing wounds. Neem tree wood is also termite resistant and is used for making charcoal. Fever, vomiting, malaria and many other ailments are cured by the neem twigs and bark. Even the life threatening ailments such as hemorrhoids and tumors can be treated effectively with neem bark. Bark powder of this tree is a pure immunity booster .It is also a perfect insecticide and can be sprayed on all agricultural crops without causing any side effects to those consuming the crop. You can even dust the powder on your bodies when you go outdoor keeping all the insects at bay. In- sect invasion in our homes can be controlled by spraying this neem bark powder at the doorsteps. It can also kill the bacteria on your body keeping your body free from skin dis- eases. This has great benefits for people that do not like to expose themselves to harsh chemicals or drugs and are looking for a more holistic approach to healing their bodies.
How Leaves May Help Us
The leaves of the neem plant have so many benefits that it is extremely difficult to decide where to start from. Neem leaves have so many compounds like nimbin , nimbinen , gedunin , nimbidol , nimbolide , nimandial , ninbinene that make them powerful anti fungal, antibacterial and anti inflammatory agents. Just like the bark, neem leaves are also the sole of this plant. Neem leaves purify your blood and make you stay away from various digestive disorders and respiratory problems. They stimulate your immune system and detoxify your blood, thus preventing many diseases. Anti viral activity of the leaves keep you away from viral diseases for it inhibits the growth of virus in your body. They also soothe the itchiness caused by dreadful skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Neem leaves help you control diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Consuming neem leaves will surely alleviate the growth of unhealthy cancer and tumor cells. They are also a sure shot treatment to ulcers and inflammation. Skin moisturizing, curing acne and skin toning are also some of the uses of neem leaves. Anti bacterial activity of the leaves treats your dry scalp, dandruff and hair fall issues. We have had a very healthy introduction to the variety of uses the neem leaves could be put to. We will be going into the details of these applications in the sections to follow.
What Good are Flowers of the Neem Tree
Neem flower oil is used in aromatherapy and various cosmetic products for it provides a calming and restorative effect on your body. Dried neem flowers, aged for months when ingested will improve eyesight and cure digestive disorders including phlegm, intestinal worms and excessive bile. Neem flowers are also popularly used in Indian cooking. The flowers are dried and roasted and then used in sauces and rice dishes. Neem honey is also extracted from neem flowers. They are also used to treat stomachaches and parasitical infections. Flowers are used for balancing the body heat and cough formation.
Consuming The Neem Fruits
Neem gives an edible fruit which looks like an apricot. It is harvested at the monsoon and later dried up in the sun. Neem fruit also resembles an olive. It is purple or yellow in color. The fruit itself is used to cure tooth ache, urinary problems, coughs, eye diseases and much more. The most important point that needs to be mentioned is that neem fruit contains a natural pesticide that is not harmful for spiders, bats, birds and humans. It is also used for hemorrhoids, diabetes, wounds and leprosy. Neem fruit is also a perfect fertilizer for organic culture. They are also used in various cosmetic industries for making soaps, herbal shampoos, creams and ointments.
Significance of Neem Seeds
Fruits and the seed are the main source of extracting neem oil. Tea made from mature seeds is still a popular treatment for bladder, kidney and prostate ailments. Seeds of neem are used to cure intestinal worms. They are also used for birth control and leprosy.
It has the ability to make the male sperm infertile. Oil from the seeds is also used as a lubricant in vagina for preventing pregnancy. So it is important for all the people who are planning to have a child to stay away from neem. The seeds can also be crushed and rubbed on skin afflictions, including scabies, giving you a clearer skin. Neem seed oil is an active ingredient for most of the skin care products. Neem seeds are ground into powder and soaked in water overnight. Solution so formed is a perfect pesticide and insecticide and can be sprayed on the crops. It will also suppress the hatching of pest insects from their eggs.
The Amazing Medicinal Uses of Neem Most commonly used parts are the seeds, leaves and the bark and less frequently used are the flowers, roots and the fruits. It is a miraculous herb that provides us with innumerable benefits which very few natural products can do. Neem has an- tibacterial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti parasitic properties that serve us in curing many health ailments. So it has been used as a vital ingredient in ayurvedic medicines for ages and therefore helps us to keep various diseases at bay. Neem’s medicinal properties have always been revered and worshipped. It is one of the magical trees which is widely used for medicinal purposes. Neem is so miraculously beneficial that it is even hard to construct a comprehensive list of all its benefits and healing powers. Antiviral, antifungal, anti inflammatory, anti microbial and anti bacterial prop- erties of neem are bound to prevent a variety of problems. It is almost unbe- lievable that so much power could be packed into a single herb. Maintenance of health and overall well being can be assured by the use or application of this herb. It is an amazingly versatile herb. So by now you must be eager and anxious to know the wonderful health benefits of this powerful herb. So let’s not waste time and get down to business straight away.
The Amazing Medicinal Uses of Neem
Most commonly used parts are the seeds, leaves and the bark and less frequently used are the flowers, roots and the fruits. It is a miraculous herb that provides us with innumerable benefits which very few natural products can do. Neem has antibacterial, anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti parasitic properties that serve us in curing many health ailments. So it has been used as a vital ingredient in ayurvedic medicines for ages and therefore helps us to keep various diseases at bay.
Neem’s medicinal properties have always been revered and worshipped. It is one of the magical trees which is widely used for medicinal purposes. Neem is so miraculously beneficial that it is even hard to construct a comprehensive list of all its benefits and healing powers.
Antiviral, antifungal, anti inflammatory, anti microbial and anti bacterial properties of neem are bound to prevent a variety of problems. It is almost unbelievable that so much power could be packed into a single herb. Maintenance of health and overall well being can be assured by the use or application of this herb. It is an amazingly versatile herb. So by now you must be eager and anxious to know the wonderful health benefits of this powerful herb. So let’s not waste time and get down to business straight away.
How Neem Can Work Wonders For Your Skin
Our Skin is precious to all of us. Even the slightest of scratches to our delicate skin can send us into a wave of disappointment. Making you get rid of skin ailments is one of the most popular function that neem provides us with. So lets us discover how neem is beneficial to our skin.
Forget About Acnes and Pimples
Neem is popular for its detoxifying properties. It inhibits the growth of acne causing bacteria such as propionibacterium and staphylococcus epidermidis there- by giving you a pimple free skin. It gives you a healthier skin by combating skin infections. It has the power to tackle bacteria from its roots. It has a high level of antioxidants and thus prevents skin from environmental damage. Pimples and acnes on our face bother us like anything. So Neem is a home remedy for this problem. Just blend and grind together few leaves of Tulsi and Neem. Mix it well with rose water to form a paste. Apply it over the pimples and enjoy a pimple free face. The high fatty acid content in neem will not even let pimples to leave any scar. You can even consume neem leaves by making a decoction of it by boiling it in water. If you find a very bad taste you can simply add a teaspoon of honey to give it a pleasant taste. So it is simple. Try it and watch the miracle happen.
Make Blemishes A Thing of the Past
Blemishes are minor skin imperfections giving us areas of discoloration on the skin. So it is a small flaw in the skin which spoils your appearance. It is created by an oily matter called sebum and is often characterized by dark spots or pigmen- tation. If you wish to have a flawless skin, make the best possible use of neem. A very simple home remedy is available to get rid of blemishes with the use of neem. Take a handful of (about 20 leaves) neem and put them in half a liter of water. Let the water come to a boil. You will see the leaves getting discolored and the water turn- ing green. The liquid so formed is your skin toner. Wash your face before going to bed. Wipe it well and then apply this liquid (by dipping a cotton ball in it) on the blemish. Blemishes will soon fade away with the regular use of this toner. Another remedy for the same is available. Make a very fine paste by mixing tulsi powder, sandalwood powder, neem powder and rose water. Apply it regularly and it is sure to lighten your blemishes. So neem is especially beneficial for skin disor- ders and is an excellent healer of skin fungal infections.
Neem for Nourished Healthy Admirable Hair
If you are a girl I am sure you must be dreaming of long and shiny hair. And for that you ought to be careful and concerned about your tresses. Do not run after those high chemical laden hair products that will give you nothing else but disappointment in the long run after temporary results. Hair problems like dandruff, hair fall, scalp itchiness, hair lice and much more bother us like anything. So what can be used to cure all these without providing any harm to your hair. Neem is the answer. You name a problem and neem comes to your rescue. It is simply a mind blowing herb that the nature has blessed us with. Now let us discuss the solutions provided by Neem for Hair Problems
Now your Hair Won’t Fall Even With Gravity
Every second or third person is worried about hair fall. Who does not want to have healthy hair? Everybody wants. Neem is sure to stimulate your hair growth and thus relieving you from the problem of hair loss. So use neem and overcome hair loss. Apply neem oil to your hair and keep it overnight. Wash it the next morning. You can also mix neem oil with coconut or almond oil for neem oil has a very strong odor which people with sensitivity to strong smells may find it difficult to tolerate. Repeat the process every second or third day for quicker results. When you massage your scalp it increases your blood circulation and thus helps you enhance your hair growth. The soothing and healing properties of neem on the scalp may also be attributed to its high fatty acid content.
Secrets to a Dandruff Free Scalp
One of the most common hair problems is dandruff but many of us aren’t aware of the best possible and natural ways to tackle this problem. We keep trying different anti dandruff shampoos and other hair products and unfortunately most of these fail to deliver what they promise. Even in cases where they are successful in getting rid of this menace you are left with noticeable side effects in each case. This is due to the use of harmful chemicals to control dandruff. Neem on the other hand contains natural dandruff fighting agents which kill dandruff without causing any hair damage. The antibacterial and anti septic properties of neem help you get rid of dandruff with ease. Take handful of neem leaves and put it in two cups of water. Let it come to a boil. You will soon find leaves get- ting discolored and water turning green. Once the color turns green you can use this water to rinse your hair after a normal head bath as it is now powered with all the anti dandruff properties. So, neem is a natural cure for dandruff and dry scalp.
Weakening Asthma With Neem
Asthma is common, affecting millions of adults and children. It occurs when the bronchial tubes get inflamed or constricted. Its signs and symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person. Pure neem seed oil is found to cure asthma permanently . Many experts have also said that asthma can be cured with neem. It is a very effective natural remedy for this chronic disease. Having a few drops of neem oil and increasing the intake will help you recover your breathing problem. Simply place 3 drops of neem oil on your tongue and swallow. Gradually increase the dosage and consume 5 drops and so on. Go up to one teaspoon over a period of six months. Probably you will get rid of your breathing problem .Neem oil also controls the phlegm, cough, wheezing and fever.
Preventing and Curing Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that occurs when your pancreas are unable to produce the requisite insulin that is required by your body. Many people across the globe have fallen victim to it.
Neem tree extracts since time immemorial have been used to cure many diseases. Many pharmaceutical companies and herbal medicine manufacturers use neem as a key ingredient in their medicines. Consumption of neem will reduce your dependence on hypoglycemic drugs. It helps you lower the blood glucose levels.
Fortunately neem is found to have no adverse effects on your body thereby making it one of the safest herbs for curing diabetes mellitus. But still to be on the safer side, when you consume neem, monitor your sugar levels carefully so that you can adjust your neem dosage accordingly. Consuming four to five neem leaves on an empty stomach especially in the morning will show fruitful results.
Neem leaf extracts have reported to reduce your insulin requirement by 50 percent. It ensures good blood circulation by making it easier for the blood to travel throughout the system. The extract helps in dilating the blood vessels which improve the circulation of the blood. Poor circulation is a common problem in a
diabetic person which can further lead to limb amputations.
Researches have shown that extracts of Neem can cure diabetes mellitus as they contain the antibiotic constituents which can oppose autoimmune response helping the Beta cells to produce insulin. So, neem is a nature doctor for diabetic patients since its leaf extract contains a compound called Nimbidin which reduces the insulin requirement by performing anti hyperglycemic effects.
Fighting Cancer Cells with Boosted Immunity
Extracts from neem tree have natural substances such as limonin, azadirachtin, beta carotene, ascorbic acid, glucopyranoside, quercitin and kaemferole which interfere with the growth of cancer cells. These phytochemicals help you enhance your immune system thereby inhibiting the growth of abnormal cells. But do not self treat your cancer with neem leaf. Do consult your physician before consuming neem. Cancer patients do have an immunity problem. If that is strengthened, their chances of survival can immediately go up. It is only by a weakness of the immune system that the cancerous cells get a chance to grow and multiply. If your immune system was strong enough it would have nipped the evil in its bud and ruled out the possibility of cancerous growths in the body. So, neem works by strengthening the natural immunity of your body thus rendering the cancerous cells ineffective to do their job. Immune cells are generally hostile to the cells that are dangerous tour body including cancer cells.
Prevent Tooth Decay Strengthen Your Teeth and Gums
Neem is popular for its antiseptic properties. It is used in most of the dental care products because it keeps the gums healthy and infection free. Neem leaf and neem bark extracts, contain valuable constituents that makes this plant an ideal and a healthier choice for all those people who wish to have healthy teeth and gums. It is good for tightening gum tissue and prevents tooth loss.
Scientists believe that the antibacterial compounds and neem’s ability to strengthen your immune response in the gums and tissues in the mouth account for healthier teeth. Its anti-inflammatory compounds will reduce the pressure on the nerves thus providing relief to your tooth ache.
Neem extracts have helped millions of people to avoid cavities and is a widely recommended treatment by the modern dentists. Evils like plaque, tartar, gingivitis and periodontitis can be prevented by the use of neem. If you are really serious about reaping the maximum benefits of neem for your teeth, its bark is the area that you want to really focus on. Here in lies the real nectar, the real magical juices that are going to prevent all sorts of problems with your teeth and give you stronger and healthier teeth.
Therefore if you can chew upon the neem twig itself, there is nothing like it. You can also buy a straight neem bark powder and load your tooth brush in to it and brush your teeth.
Don’t Let Mosquitoes Overpower You With Malaria
Malaria is a dangerous disease that affects several million people worldwide every year and kills about two million of them. That gives an idea of how widespread and dangerous it is. What makes it spread like an epidemic is the fact that certain species of mosquitoes transfer it from an infected person to a healthy person. The malerial Gamete is sucked up from the infected person by the mosquito and kept in its gut until it bites another person. Neem can prohibit the development of gamete in the infected person. It thus not only saves that person but also prevents the disease from further spreading to other people. Neem Leaf extracts have been found to be quite effective against Malaria. It is believed that the stimulation and strengthening of the Immune System by Neem is a primary cause of its great effectiveness in treating malaria. It can lower the Body temperature of a person suffering from Malaria fever and improve the appetite hence leading to a stronger body which is more capable of fighting the disease. Neem Leaf extracts are found to increase the state of oxidation in red blood cells which hinders the growth of malaria parasite. Irodin A which is an active com- pound in leaves is very effective in killing the malaria parasites within a period of 2-3 days. Gedunin and Quercitin are two other compounds in neem which are effective against Malaria.