One of the most important detoxicants in Ayurvedic medicine and is a potent febrifuge, long used to treat intermittent fevers and recently shown to contain active anti-malarial compounds. Every part of the neem tree may be used medicinally (3).
Neem is one of the most appreciated trees in the Indian culture. Hindu legend says that when sacred nectar was being flown from earth to the heavens for the use of the gods, a few drops of nectar fell on the neem tree, which bestowed its many healing virtues. The Hindu goddess Kali is said to dwell in the tree (4).
The common name Neem is derived from Nimba the Sanskrit word for this tree. The generic name coming from Persian words meaning “free” or “noble tree” and the species name being Latin for “Indian”. Neem has been a part of Ayurvedic and folk medicine in India since the earliest times, and it still provides some of the most frequently used herbal remedies (3).
Prefers well-drained soil in the sun. Tolerates poor soils and prolonged drought. Propagate by seed sown as soon as ripe. Leaves, bark, and resin are collected as required and used fresh or dried in decoctions, infusions, medicated oils, powders, and pastes. Seeds are harvested when ripe for oil extraction (3).
mahmoodin, flavonoids, meliacins, triterpenoids, phytosterols (campesterol, stigmasterol, beta- sitosterol), omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids (azdirachtin), nimbidin tannins (4).
The fresh or dried flowers can be eaten and are sometimes used as decorative condiments (4).
Antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bitter, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, immune stimulant, vermifuge (4).
arrhythmia, arthritis, cancer, convalescence, cough, diabetes, digestive disorders, eczema, fever, high cholesterol, jaundice, malaria, nausea, obesity, parasites, rheumatism, smallpox, syphillis, tumours, ulcers, and worms (4).
Neem Leaf is primarily used for chronic malaria, feverish states, swollen glands, jaundice, gingivitis and intestinal worms (1).
Dosage (Divided Daily)
• Dried Leaf Powder: 1,000 – 3,000mg (2)
• Dried Leaf Infusion: 10,000 – 20,000mg (2)
• Neem Leaf should not be consumed during Pregnancy or lactation (except under close professional supervision). (1)
At higher doses than recommended it causes gastrointestinal irritations (with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea). (1)
- Skenderi, Gazmend. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, N.J.: Herbacy Press, 2003.
- Khare, C. P. Indian medicinal plants: an illustrated dictionary. Springer reference. New York: Springer, 2007.
- Herbalpedia 2013 (CD-ROM)
- Mars, Brigitte. The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-Study, One-Stop Guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub., 2007.
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