The botanical name for
Neem is Azadiracta Indica. Ancient Indians have long revered the
Neem Tree. For centuries, millions have used various parts of the
plant. Neem twigs for cleaning teeth, smeared skin disorders with
Neem leaf juice, taken Neem as a tonic and placed Neem leaves in
their beds, books, grain bins, cupboards, closets, to keep away
insects and moths. Various parts of the plant have also been used
for treatment of ailments like fever, infections and other
The Neem Tree was
introduced in West Africa in the early part of this century and
quickly went on to become a valuable source of both shade and
firewood. It helped arrest the spread of the Sahara Desert in
Somalia and Mauritania and was later used extensively for a
forestation programs in Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean.
Neem is a member of the mahogany family and is a hardy, fast-growing
evergreen tree. It has a straight trunk, long spreading branches,
grows to a height of 50 feet or more and up to 30 feet wide. These
stately umbrella-shaped trees have fragrant white flowers about
one-half inch across and may live for more than 200 years. While
native to India, neem grows in many Asian countries, throughout arid
zones of Africa and has been planted in tropical areas of the
Western world as well. It thrives in poor soil and has deep roots
that allow it to withstand long periods of drought and neutralize soil acidity with their
alkaline leaves. Both seeds and leaves of Neem Tree have antiseptic,
antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive and anti-ulcer effects,
making them medicinal. Even the Neem bark has antiseptic compounds.
In Germany tests have proved that Neem extracts prevent tooth decay
and gum inflammation.
Refined, Neem oil loses its unpleasant smell and is used in soaps,
cosmetics, toothpaste, disinfectants and various industrial
products, without any harmful side effects.
Neem wood is termite resistant and is used for carpentry and
construction work. It is only in the recent years Scientists in the
Western countries started believing that this tree could be the
source for providing tremendous benefit to the people in general.
Today Researchers are saying that Neem could be called a "Wonder
Tree" and eventually expect it to benefit everyone on the plant.
This tree is expected to usher in a new era in pest control, provide
millions with inexpensive medicines, cut down the rate of population
growth, reduce erosion, deforestation and control the global warming
Neem The Ultimate Herb by John Conrick
Neem, The Ultimate Herb
is the most comprehensive book about neem, the world's most
Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems
being able to grow in difficult conditions, Neem has the ability to
control farm and household insects.
Researchers in the US Department of Agriculture have been studying
this property of Neem since 1972. In laboratory experiments, it has
been found that the various parts of this Neem tree has remarkable
powers for controlling insects, that entomologists believe that it
is now possible to develop safe natural "pesticides".
Neem leaves contain an ingredient that disrupts the fungi that
produce aflatoxin on mouldy peanuts, corn, and other foods — it
leaves the fungi alive, but switches off their ability to produce
aflatoxin, the most powerful carcinogen known.
Neem products benefit human health.
The seeds and leaves contain compounds with demonstrated antiseptic,
antiviral, and antifungal activity. There is also evidence that Neem
has anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, and anti-ulcer effects.
Research has shown that compounds of Neem bark are strongly
antiseptic. Neem is also effective in taking care of dental hygiene.
In Germany, tests have proved that Neem extracts prevent tooth
decay, as well as prevent inflammations of the gums.
The crude extract of the oil from Neem seeds can be used for various
purposes like heating, lighting, or crude lubricating jobs. Refined,
it loses its unpleasant smell and is used in soaps, cosmetics,
toothpaste, disinfectants, and various other industrial products
without having any harmful side effects.
In conclusion, Neem tree has enormous potential to benefit entire
The above write-up is based on the Report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the
Board of Science and Technology for International Development,
National Research Council, USA, published as Neem: A Tree For
Solving Global Problems, by National Academy Press, Washington,
D.C., in 1992.
Tree for Solving Global Problems
by Noel Vietmeyer - Study Director
This book is an
overview of the potential for the neem tree of India to solve global
problems. The tree produces an oil that acts as non-toxic insect