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The Medicinal Properties of Neem

Neem, one of the most sought after trees in India is given the reverence of a female Goddess. Not only for pious reasons it is worshipped, but also for its medicinal properties and the immense strength to nullify every kind of disease and infection.

The word ‘neem’ is equivalent to the Sanskrit term ‘arista’, which means perfect, complete and imperishable. Almost every part of the neem tree comes into use and the most useful parts of this pious tree are its leaves, stem, seeds, twigs, bark and root. Each of the part has its own medicinal use and is used for a healthy purpose.

Here is what every part of the neem tree is used for:

Medicinal Properties of Neem
  • Neem Oil – Neem seeds are compressed to make neem oil, which is a very effective remedy to skin and hair problems.
  • Neem seed cake – Neem seeds are compressed here again to make neem seed cakes, a natural soil enriching agent. It lowers nitrogen losses by inhibiting nitrification. It also works as a nematicide.
  • Neem Leaves – Used as a disinfectant. The leaves are dropped in bathing water for its disinfecting property and are used majorly to treat chicken pox.
  • Neem twigs – used as a natural toothbrush both in villages of India and Africa. Known for its cleansing property and keeping away germs.
  • Neem leaf and seed extract- used as an anti-inflammatory against pain and other health problems. Also used to make contraceptives and acts as a spermicidal.
  • Neem roots and bark – used for its antibacterial properties and fights against skin problems like rashes, psoriasis, acne and pimple. Improves the quality of your hair by keeping away dandruff, head lice etc.

Having said how each part of the neem tree comes to use, it is also used for specific reasons in herbal medicine. A few of them are listed below for your better understanding:

  • Immuno-stimulant activity: In the Indian households, children are given a neem leaf extract along with other herbal ingredients following an oil bath. This is commonly followed on a weekly basis. This extract will help in killing infections inside the body and cleanse your body in and out.
  • Hypoglycemic activity: Known for lowering sugar, the tender leaves of neem are freshly hand-picked or plucked off the tree, washed and chewed raw by diabetic patients for instant effect on high sugar levels.
  • Anti-ulcer: When a patient is suffering of ulcer, neem leaf and its bark extracts are given to the patient, so that he or she is benefitted from antacid secretion and anti-ulcer activity.
  • Antifertility agent: A novel method of contraception was to use neem oil inside the vagina. This is still being followed by many people down in the Indian villages.
  • Anti-malaria agent: Neem leaf extracts are very effective against strong malarial strain of parasites.
  • Neem
  • Antifungal: Neem leaf extracts are used as antifungal agents.
  • Antibacterial and anti-viral: It is used in bathing water for antibacterial and anti-viral effects of a recent epidemic disease.
  • Anticancer – it is seen that cancer patients are relieved of many side effects when they gulp down neem water or munch neem leaves.
  • Deworming agent-Neem extracts are administered to children for a natural deworming tonic.
  • Antioxidant-Neem leaves are best antioxidants when consumed. It also detoxifies your body off toxins.

Neem, the “Indian evergreen pharmacy” was grown in every household for a reason. These days, modern flats and condominiums take over all the space and have abolished commonly found trees like neem. It is in our hands to grow neem saplings at least in the balcony garden or terrace garden to have an all-in-one doctor at your doorstep!