Neem, scientifically referred to as Azadirachta indica, is a medicinal tree. It offers plenty of usages in several shapes and sizes. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and anti-infertility properties. All parts of Neem including seeds, leaves, flowers and bark have medicinal properties. It is native to Indian continent.
Typically, it is known as the ‘village pharmacy’ because of its holistic power to protect against several health complications. Let us explore some more details about it. Since ancient ages, this tree is well-respected the history of natural medicine. It can treat various diseases and disorders ranging from malaria to bad teeth. Almost all parts of this tree contain medicinal benefits. Its seeds, leaves and barks have compounds known as limonoids with proven medicinal properties
Neem is drought resistance. It can tolerate almost any length of high temperature. Typically this tree is grown in sub-arid to sub-humid areas, where the annual rainfall varies between 400mm to 1200mm. This tree thrives in any types of soil, however, best grown in well drained deep sandy soil. This tree cannot stay alive below 4C temperatures. At this temperature, leaf shedding is confirmed in addition to premature death.
Neem tree has various usages in a variety of sectors. Let us focus exploring some of them.
The twig of this tree is largely used as a tooth brush in different regions of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is an oldest tradition used effectively in dental care. The oil extracted from the seeds and kernel of the Neem tree is used in the manufacturing of cosmetics such as soaps, shampoos, balms, and creams. It has the potentiality to use as a great carbon dioxide sink. Traditionally it has been recognized as a great resource for anti-desertification property. It offers great solution to acne and provides good support for skin elasticity. Ayurveda and traditional herbal medicine suggest chicken pox patients to sleep on neem leaves to get rid off the problem. The neemgum prepared from bark is typically used as a bulking agent and for the production of medicinal foods for diabetic patients.
This tree offers a great resource for environment-friendly biopesticides. Limonoids found in the leaves, seeds and bark are used as an effective insect-growth controlling substance. The uniqueness lies with its ability to alter the life-processing behavior of the insect in such a fashion that the insect becomes unable to feed, breed or undergo through metamorphosis process.
Disease Control and Pest Control
The extract of leaves, seeds as well as barks is effective in treating scabies, a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection. It is a great substitute for permethrin. Scabies is not at all resistant to the biochemical properties of neem, so in prolonged complication of scabies neem is found to be effective. Human head lice can be cured with the external application of neem leave juice over the scalp. In Ayurveda, it is respected as ‘Sarbaroganibarini’, which means ‘cure for all diseases’.
According to the report produced by The National Institute of Health, its extract has the potentiality to be used as an AIDS preventive. However, not sufficient researches have been conducted so far.
It has anti-allergic properties. So it is able to inhibit allergic reactions if applied either externally or internally. Possibly in recent decades, it can be used as an effective male birth control pill. This is the for the first time in human history the production of men birth pill without affecting libido or sperm production has become possible within the span of controlled study.
It has the ability to enhance the immune system. Also its immune polysaccharides property makes it a future cancer cure. Apart from that, it decreases the blood sugar level and reduces the possible usage of insulin to 30%-50%, hence it is effective for diabetic patient. The extracts are found to be beneficial for other diseases as well such as herpes, heart diseases, hepatitis, fungal infection, malaria, psoriasis, and ulcer.
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