Neem - benefits of neem oil, neem leaf extract and other parts of the neem tree

Neem - Benefits of neem

The neem (Azadirachta Indica) is an important part of life in India. It is an evergreen tree which grows to a height of 20 to 40 and rarely up to a height of 60 feet. It is around this tree that many activities of the village happen. Every part of the neem tree is used for its medicinal value. It is called ‘the village pharmacy’. The Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine use the properties of neem in all their treatments. The neem is called ‘Arista’ which in Sanskrit means ‘perfect, complete and imperishable’. The Sanskrit name for the neem is ‘Nimabati’ comes from the term ‘Nimbati Systhyamdadati’ which means 'to give good health'. It is also called ‘Sarvaroganivarini’ which means ‘the healer of all ailments’. None of these terms are tall claims because most of the natural treatments consist of using neem in various forms. The Neem tree is also worshiped by the Hindus as a Godess and is a part of many celebration and festivities in the Hindu household.

Tender neem leaves - pics by sofs
Tender neem leaves - pics by sofs

Link to Neem products online

            Neem products

Neem - the natural air conditioner

The British who invaded India planted neem saplings all over the land. It is a natural air conditioner in the hot tropical regions. It is found that the temperature under a neem tree is a couple of degrees Centigrade lower than the area around it. In fact, in the villages people bring out their cots to sleep under the neem tree in summer. The air is fresh and pure and it is a natural insect repellent. In the desert regions where there is little or no fodder for animals, the neem leaf becomes their food during the hot Indian summer.

Neem leaves - uses of neem leaves

The neem leaves are used to treat chicken pox and warts by directly applying the paste of the leaf on the skin. The leaves are also boiled in water and added to the bathwater. It helps to increase the immunity of the body. It clears up acne and destroys any harmful bacteria on the skin.

The tender leaves are eaten raw for the control of Diabeties.

It is an excellent anti malarial remedy. Neem is also used for treating fevers as it has antipyretic properties. The leaves are boiled in water and reduced to half, cooled and this tea is administered as a medicine for malaria. It has been found that the neem is as effective as Quinine in the treatment of malaria. The fresh leaves are very bitter and the tender leaves are either chewed directly or made into a paste and mixed with butter milk and this decoction is taken to get immunity from Malaria.

The leaf extracts are also found to be spermicidal and so they make excellent natural contraceptives.

It is used effectively in the treatment of athlete’s foot, ringworm or any fungal infection anywhere in the body.

The neem has antibacterial and antiviral properties and it is used to treat chicken pox, Acne, Psoriasis, Scabies, Eczema, etc.

It is a also great disinfectant and antiseptic and used for fumigation of delivery chambers. The dry leaves and bark are burned and the room is fumigated.

Today there are many brands of neem capsules available in the market because of its immunity boosting property. It is easier to administer the capsules than taking the decoction of the bark or chewing the leaves directly.

Neem oil, neem twigs and neem bark uses - neem products

Neem twigs - The twigs of the tree are cut into toothbrush sized bits, the bark is removed and the end is lightly pounded to make a soft brush and this is used to brush the teeth in most villages of India and Africa. This brush has been known to protect the gums and teeth from all kinds of infection and decay. Today there are so many tooth pastes that are available with neem extracts.

Neem oil is extracted from the seed kernel. It is widely used as an insecticide in agriculture. It is an effective means of pest control when diluted and sprayed. Many neem products like soaps, shampoos, cosmetics etc are made from neem oil and extracts of neem leaf. Neem oil is also use as a local application on the skin for various skin diseases.The use of Neem oil acts as an effective pest control agent. But you would want to go light on the neem oil because of strong unpleasant odor .

The bark of the neem is a bitter astringent and the decoction is used for tiredness, cough, fever, loss of appetite, worm infestation, etc. It is also an antileprotic useful in the treatment of leprosy. The bark and the roots are powdered and used for the control of fleas and ticks on pets. Gedunin, a compound found in neem is a very effective vasodialator.

Benefits of neem in agriculture and pest control

The neem seed cake, a by-product after the extraction of neem oil from the seeds is used as a fertilizer. This is not only a good fertilizer as it is natural, but it is also a good nematicide which inhibits the breeding and spread of bugs, pests and diseases that destroy plants. Pests like white flies, mealy bugs, locusts, aphids are all effectively controlled by neem seed cake mixed in the soil. A light spray of neem oil on the leaves discourages the worms and larvae from eating the plant. This is a natural and non toxic way of controlling pests in the garden.

Neem wood In the tropical regions wood of any kind is highly valued. The neem tree and neem wood is greatly valued for their strength and versatility of use in the construction industry. They are sued for making doors ,windows, frames etc. The other parts of the tree which is not used for wood becomes cheap fuel which is in great demand in the villages.

Neem decoction or neem tea
Neem decoction or neem tea

The amazing neem tree

The neem is a very potent herbal medicine and it is important to use it with caution. Like anything else in nature, judicious use of neem products is advisable. One amazing fact about the neem tree is that this Indian tree has been identified on 5000 year old seals excavated from the Indus valley civilization. Thus the Indian life from the morning brushing of teeth to a good night’s sleep is completely dominated by the village pharmacy or the native Indian Neem tree.


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Your comments add value and I would love to hear from you 34 comments

timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

Wow sofs..isn't nature amazing. Just goes to show..the old, natural remedies work the best, always have. Thanks for enlightening us all. Nice going.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Wow! wow! again, nature is truly amazing! I was just wondering how far we have got from nature with all the busyness of our life and our quest for instant relief. I had an opportunity to use neem recently and I decided it is truly worth writing about and sharing this knowledge with more people. I am glad Tim, that you learnt a thing or two from this hub.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is totally new to me. I have never even heard about Neem Oil, people using it to brush their teeth, is amazing. I will certainly check this out. Thank you.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Hi Ruby, now you've heard! It is called the miracle tree of India. Neem products are widely commercialized in Europe and USA you really need to check for reliable companies before buying the products off the shelves. Thank you Ruby for reading up and getting your self acquainted with the goodness of nature.

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya sofs, I've never heard of neem before. Neem is truly a miracle tree. Thumbs up and very useful.

Have a nice day,


sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Now you know!!! yes Rosie, Neem is indeed an amazing tree, every part of it is is medicinal and valuable. Glad that you were curious enough to read up and know. Thank you and God bless!!

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Very interesting hub! Where did you get your fresh leaves for the photo? Do you grow neem? Do you know where plants are available?

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

I live in the land of the Miracle tree :) Neem trees are grown everywhere in India. I am not sure where plants are available.. but can check them for you. Thank you for the interest, I honestly appreciate this. God Bless!!

crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Informative and educative hub,thanks for sharing.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Glad that was educative,thanks for the visit and the comment.

haverford 5 years ago

what's the most effective wa to ingest liquid neem(dropper). It really tastes bad. Can i tbe mixed, or just take the pain.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

HI Haverford, you could try the capsules instead of the liquid. The liquid is indeed terribly bitter and unpalatable, most of the neem products are best taken by themselves and on any empty stomach/early morning to be effective. Mixing them with other food does dilute their properties. Down here most of the people consume the leaves, flower or bark decoction directly and mask the taste with a teaspoon of honey later, may be you could try that. Thank you for the interest and the question.

haverford 5 years ago

Thank you sofs,

I am doing drops toward the back of my tongue and getting used to it. What other neem products are effective? There are so many at my vitamin site, like toothpaste,oil, lotion sap. Do they have to be close to 100% to actually work? Thanks again for your knowledge.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Wow! you seem to have a lot of interest in neem. The toothpaste and the other stuff are good but it is a bitter pill indeed to swallow. Neem oil is very strong smelling and you wouldn't want to use it on your person without being prepared for the consequences. It is a great pest repellent in your garden if sprayed very lightly, the smell and the taste is something you really have to contend with in any neem product.

I am sure if you want to take take it internally stick to the capsule or as in your case the liquid for good results but I advise you to take anything, even neem in moderation.

Thank you so much for the interest. :)

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Excellent!!! Thank you so much for the info.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you Paradise for checking out the hub. I hope you have got some idea about this tree and its uses. We put the dry leaves of the Neem between our Silk saris and woolens to preserve them from moths :)

zier mendiola 5 years ago

Where can I found this kind of NEEM TREE in the Philippines??

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Zier Mendiola, I am not sure if you can find a Neem tree in Philippines, but you are sure to get the extracts every where. But I guess you should do a Google search for neem in Philippines .. thank you for the interest and the question.

natures47friend profile image

natures47friend 4 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

Hi. I use Neem oil to spray my orchids with..had no idea there was a lot of other uses.

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Neem has more health benefits than we care to even know... but it is not going to help the pharmaceuticals if we keep promoting nature... does it.?? so they do their best to suppress information... glad that you found this informative... God bless and have a wonderful day.

nicois 4 years ago from Jamaica

Hi, I have been doing a lot of reading on neem and I'm truly astonished at all its health benefits. I wanted to know if you were to drink the neem leaves as a tea as a purifier, how many days and how many times for the day would be best for me to drink it?

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Nicos that would depend on the strength of the tea, ten leaves in a cup everyday (morning on empty stomach) for a month is normally taken to de-infest the stomach of worms and purify blood. None of these are medically proven but recommended by the naturopaths here.

nicois thomas 4 years ago

Thank you Sofs. I asked because my aunt was suggesting that six leaves and drinking the tea for a week or just a little over a week was enough to purify the blood.

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

You are welcome Nicois Thomas. Have a great day!!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

sofs, this is an exhaustive and well written hub on the versatile neem. I am sharing a link to this hub in my hub on "uses of neem".

Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

Voted up & useful.

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Thank you Rajan, you are welcome to share the link. I appreciate that. Have a wonderful day. God Bless!

Avilla Issah Abubakari 4 years ago

Neem leaf extract has been observed to be quite effective on the control of soil borne diseases such as rootnodes on pepper plants.

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Yes, Neem is indeed a great germicide, that could be used without fear of contamination. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a lovely day!

Erik 4 years ago

Does neem interact well with MAOI's in particular RIMA's??

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Erik, as I had mentioned in this article there are no proper studies done to provide the kind of information you need.. Thanks for the question... I will continue to research further to see if I could still get some answer to this question. Have a great day.

gine 4 years ago

yes, it's growing in the Philippines.

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Gine, thanks for letting us know that neem trees grow in Philippines.

jamila sahar profile image

jamila sahar 4 years ago

great hub! i am aware of the benefits of neem. i would love to have a plant, where would you advise to obtain one? the plants in the pictures are beautiful, lush and green !

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago Author

Jamila, If you live in Asia most of the herbal plants and trees will be supplied by your government's horticultural department as a part of the saving the environment project.. Try it. Thanks for stopping by.

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