Neem : Medicinal Uses, Traditional Uses and Synonyms
Scientific Name of the Neem Tree
The scientific name of the neem tree is Azadirachta indica, which belongs to the family Meliaceae.
Neem Tree Morphology and Useful Parts
The neem tree is a fast-growing valuable tree with many medicinal properties. All parts of the neem tree are very useful. Neem tree consists of thick foliage.
Neem tree grows to a height of about 30 meters and the trunk grows to a height of 2.5 meters.
Distribution of Neem Tree:
The neem tree is an evergreen tree distributed in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The neem tree is native to South Asia and has spread to all tropical areas of the world. The neem tree is native to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Neem tree is also found in the Southern parts of Iran.
Wonderful Neem Tree:
Neem trees had been in use for many centuries for the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines.
The neem tree is worshiped by the Hindus in many traditional festivals and occasions.
Neem is used as a pesticide, fertilizer, and in the traditional medicine of Ayurveda. Neem tree provides a thick shade and can be used for taking rest under the tree. The tree is thought to give good health by providing a good amount of pure oxygen that rests under it.
Neem fruits and seeds are the sources of neem oil.
Commonly Used Neem Preparations: The commonly used neem preparations are
- Neem soaps and Shampoos
- Neem oils
- Neem powder
- Neem Tea
Synonyms of Neem Tree:
- English: Indian lilac or Margosa
- Hindi: Neem
- Sanskrit: Nimba, Arishta, Picumarda
- Oriya : Nimba, Arishta, Picumarda
- Telugu: Vepa
- Tamil : Vepamaram, Vembu
- Marathi: Kadu-Limba
- Bengali : Nimgachh, Nim
- Kannada : Hebbavu, Bevu
- Gujarati: Limdo
- Malayalam : Arya Veppu
- Punjabi: Nimm
- Nepali: Neem
- Arabic : Margosa, Neem
- Nigerian: Dongovaro
- Persian: Cherish, Azad Dirakht
- Urdu: Neem
Medicinal Uses of Neem Tree Parts:
- Neem tree has anti-oxidant properties.
- Neem helps to improve immunity in HIV patients and control the disease.
- Neem is used to prevent malaria.
- Neem has anti-septic and anti-fungal properties.
- Neem leaves have an insect-repellant property and are hence used as an insect repellant and control mosquitoes and other insects.
- Neem protects the gums and teeth with its anti-septic property.
- Tender stems of the neem tree are used as a dentifrice for cleaning the teeth and tongue.
- Regular brushing with neem stem cures pyorrhea and prevents bad breath of the mouth.
- Neem protects the skin from skin diseases. Neem Extracts, oils, and decoctions are used for skin infections.
- Neem oil is used for killing head lice, even in dogs also.
- Neem oil is used in the treatment of wounds to repel flies as an external application.
- Neem is used to expel worms and acts as an anthelmintic.
- Neem is antiviral and prevents the spread of viral diseases like Chicken pox and Smallpox.
- Neem is also used in birth control. Neem oil is to be applied externally in the vagina which acts as a spermicidal agent and prevents pregnancy. Regular usage of Neem tea is said to prevent Pregnancy.
Traditional uses of the Neem tree:
Neem twigs are tied in bunches in front of the house to prevent the spreading of the diseases like chicken pox, Smallpox, and other viral diseases. It also gives an indication that somebody is infected with a contagious disease and the twigs are tied for preventing the spread of the disease.
A bed is laid with Neem leaves for the patients affected with Smallpox and Chicken pox.
Bunches of twigs are used as hand fans for patients suffering from Smallpox or Chicken pox.
Hindus worship the village deities with Neem leaves.
Telugu people prepare special chutney with flowers of Neem on Telugu New Year’s day (Ugadi) along with other new materials Jaggery, tamarind, and other fruits. First, they offer this to God and eat later with all the family members and celebrate the festival.
The wood obtained from the Neem tree is used in the making of windows and front doors and is believed to be auspicious.
Neem leaves are mixed in the food grains to prevent insects from spoiling them as insect repellent.