Neem – A miracle Tree

The Neem Tree – whose biological name is Azadirachtaindica (also known as Indian Lilac) – is an evergreen tree that belongs to the mahogany familyhave powerful health benefits including the ability to fight with cancer. While neem is often used to make furniture, this tree also offers powerful anti-cancer and healing benefits. Its fruits and seeds are the source of medicinal neem oil.Neem grows freely in the tropical and semi-tropical regions of India and the Indian subcontinent, including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. In the Sanskrit language, the neem tree is called “Aristha” or “reliever of sicknesses.” In Vedas, neem is known as “SarvaRogaNivarini” meaning “One that cures all ailments and ills.”Neem is referred to as the “Miracle Tree” and because of its tremendous medical properties, the neem tree is also considered to be a “village pharmacy” in India. Extracts of neem leaves, twigs, bark, seeds, and flowers are integral components of many traditional remedies in the Indian medical system of Ayurveda. These remedies date back, by some accounts, nearly 5,000 years.

Different important uses of Neem- According to Ayurveda, all the parts of neem tree are beneficial for health –

  1. Neem Leaves-Neem leaves are reputed to possess antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-malarial properties – that is why their extracts are used to treat skin infections, acne, boils, burns, and many other skin problems.Some traditional uses for neem leaves include:
  • Neem is used as Skin cleanser. It stops the growth of the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes, along with suppressing P. acnes-induced inflammation.
  • It is a good wound healer, a paste of neem leaves is applied on wounds, skin eruptions, and insect bites. When combined with turmeric to make pasted, this paste is also used to treat skin itching, eczema, ring worm, and other mild skin diseases.
  • Neem leaf extracts and paste are used to condition the hair and scalp and are believed to strengthen hair and promote hair growth.
  • It works as an anti-dandruff agent. Water in which neem leaves have been boiled is applied to hair after regular shampooing to rid the scalp of dandruff.
  • The extract of neem leaves in water is used to wash the eyes and gives relief from irritation, tiredness, and redness.
  • 2- Neem Flowers- Unlike the rest of the neem tree which is bitter, the white and delicate neem flowers possess a sweet, almost jasmine-like scent. They are used fresh, dried, or in a powdered form as food and as garnish in some Indian cooking traditions.Neem flowers are used medicinally to treat anorexia, nausea, and intestinal worms. Neem Twigs- Before toothbrushes became common, people in India would traditionally chew away at neem twigs in the morning. In Indian villages, many people still do this.This habit helps to fight germs, maintain alkaline levels in saliva, keep bacteria away, heal swollen gums, and leads to white teeth. Finally, the twig also shreds into bristle-like threads that help to remove and prevent plaque.3.Neem Oil-Neem oil extracted from fruits and seeds of the neem tree is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. This makes it an ideal ingredient in cosmetics and beauty products such as soaps, hair oil, hand wash, and soap.

Some other Traditional uses of Neem oil include:

  • Skin cleanser – 2-3 drops of neem oil diluted with water and applied on the skin helps to keep the skin clear, removing acne, blackheads, and helping to heal skin diseases.
  • Skin toner and mosquito repellent – Neem oil contains high levels of vitamin E and is very nourishing for the skin, helping to maintain a balanced tone. When added to face packs, it helps to tone aging skin and relieves irritation and itching. It is also an excellent mosquito repellent.
  • Natural shampoo – Rubbing neem oil into the scalp can strengthen hair, prevent hair fall, and remove dandruff.

The Neem Tree: A Modern Day Medical Miracle

The Neem Tree: A Modern Day Medical Miracle?

By:- Dr. Neha Saini
Department of Botany.
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital