|Azadirachta indica, flowers and leaves|
Neem is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is native to India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan. It grows in tropical and semi-tropical regions. It was also the state tree of Hyderabad Deccan.
Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach up to 15–20 m (about 50–65 feet) tall, and sometimes even to 35–40 m (115–131 feet). It is evergreen, but in serious drought it may lose most or nearly all of its leaves. The branches are spread far apart.
Uses[change | change source]
Products made from neem have been used in India for over two millennia for their medicinal properties. They are said to be antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive and sedative. Neem products are also used in selectively controlling pests in plants. Neem is considered a part of Ayurvedic medicine.
- All parts of neem are used for preparing many different medicines, especially for skin disease.
- Part of the Neem tree can be used as a spermicide .
- Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics (soap and shampoo, as well as lotions and others), and is useful for skin care such as acne treatment. Neem oil has been used effectively as a mosquito repellent.
- Neem is useful for damaging over 500 types of insects, mites, ticks, and nematodes, by changing the way they grow and act. Neem does not normally kill pests right away, rather it slows their growth and drives them away. As neem products are cheap and not poisonous to animals and friendly insects, they are good for pest control
- In the UK, plant protection products that contain azadirachtin, the active ingredient of neem oil, are illegal.
References[change | change source]
- D.P. Agrawal (n.d.). "Medicinal properties of Neem: new findings". http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_neem.htm.
- S. Zillur Rahman and M. Shamim Jairajpuri. Neem in Unani Medicine. Neem Research and Development Society of Pesticide Science, India, New Delhi, February 1993, p. 208-219. Edited by N.S. Randhawa and B.S. Parmar. 2nd revised edition (chapter 21), 1996
- Neem, WebMD.