Neem Tree: An Insight
Generically known as Azadirachta indica, the neem is a tree which belongs to the family of Meliaceae. One of the two species of the genus Azadirachta, it is highly treasured and revered in India owing to its medicinal properties. It is found commonly growing in the dry regions of India and Southeast Asia. The bark, seeds as well as leaves of this tree are used to produce medicines for vast varieties of ailments. In India, its flowers are used in festivals for worship of the Gods. The fruits and seeds of the tree are a source of neem oil.
Growth, Lifespan and Growing Place
NEEM (Margosa Tree/Azadirachta indica) is a tree that attains speedy growth up to a height of 20 meters. It is essentially evergreen, but as a mode of adaption to osmotic stress, sheds all or most of its leaves during conditions of drought. Its branches are long and spread to considerable distances. The neem tree is quite similar to its relative, chinaberry, in appearance. Leaves are of rich, deep green color, arranged in opposite, pinnate venation and extend up to 40 centimeters in length. The stems lack petioles and terminal leaflets. The tree thrives in tropical regions and is native to places like India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh and certain parts of Africa.
Over 4000 years, the benefits of neem tree have been acknowledged by people of India and Indian subcontinent. Its medicinal properties are:
- Bark of the tree is used for treatment of malaria, ulcers, pain, inflammation and skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
- Neem leaf extracts are used in Ayurvedic medicine, for treatment of leprosy, nose bleeding, upset stomach, cardiovascular diseases, gingivitis, liver problems, diabetes, fever as well as hemorrhoids.
- Neem oil,extracted from fruit and seeds of neem, has pronounced benefits for skin care.
- The root, bark and stems of the neem plant are used as a strong astringent and tonic.
- Neem flowers help in the treatment of intestinal worms and bile problems.
- Neem is useful as a mosquito repellent and insecticide, to ward off pests.
- It is used for birth control.
- Neem twigs have the potential to alleviate whooping cough, asthma and gum problems. It also boosts sperm levels in males and prevents relapse of UTI.
How It Is Used
Neem tree parts such as bark, root, twig and seeds are commonly used for medicinal purposes. Neem soaps, lotions and moisturizers help reduce acne problems and cracked cuticles. Neem oil is used topically in fungal infections and cold sores. It also provides relief from insect bites.
NEEM (Margosa Tree/Azadirachta indica) is truly a blessing of nature and its beneficial features will keep the users healthy and fit for a lifetime.