In the world of Ayurveda, neem is a popular medicinal herb that’s been part of traditional remedies that date back almost 5000 years. Also known as Azadirachta Indica in English or ‘Neemba’ in Sanskrit, the neem tree is a really good example of how nature holds both the problem and the cure. It’s home to more than 130 different biologically active compounds! No wonder it’s such an effective anti-viral and anti-bacterial, along with being a powerful immuno-stimulant. Murli Manohar, author of the book ‘Ayurveda For All: Effective Ayurvedic Self Cure for Common and Chronic Ailments’ suggests that the primary purpose of neem leaves is the treatment of vaata disorders or neuromuscular pains.
Neem is a tree. The bark, leaves, and seeds are used to make medicine. Less frequently, the root, flower and fruit are also used.
Neem leaf is used for leprosy, eye disorders, bloody nose, intestinal worms, stomach upset, loss of appetite, skin ulcers, diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases), fever, diabetes, gum disease (gingivitis), and liver problems. The leaf is also usednfor birth control and to cause abortions.
■ OTHER BENEFITS
● Purify the blood
● Prevent damage causes by free radicals in the body
● Remove Toxins
● Treat insect bites
■ HERE ARE SOME EXCELLENT WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN USE NEEM LEAVES:
● Wound healer – make a paste out of the neem leaves and dab it on your wounds or insect bites a few times a day till it heals.
● Goodbye dandruff – boil a bunch of neem leaves till the water turns green, allow it to cool. After washing your hair with shampoo, cleanse it with this water.
● Eye Trouble – boil some neem leaves, let the water cool completely and then use it to wash your eyes. This will help any kind of irritation, tiredness or redness.
● Treat that zit – grind a few neem leaves, make a paste and apply it daily till the acne dries out. The paste also helps any kind of eruptions, dark spot and chronic ulcers.
● Ear ailments – blend some neem leaves and add some honey to it. Use a few drops of this mix to treat any ear boils.
● Other skin disorders – Turmeric combined with a paste of neem leaves can also be used for itching, eczema, ring worms and some mild skin diseases.
● Boost immunity – crush some neem leaves and take them with a glass of water to increase your immunity.
■ NEEM FLOWERS
The flowers have a sweet, almost mystical jasmine like scent at night and blossom once in the afternoon and then again in the evening. During the moonsoon, you’ll see a bunch of them scattered right under the tree. Also known as Vepampoo in Tamil, these neem flowers can be used fresh, dried or in a powdered form. They’re used commonly in the South to cook a number of dishes: flower rice, pachadi, rasam, lentils and more. They’re often dry roasted and sprinkled on the top of the dish to garnish as well.
The flower is used for reducing bile, controling phlegm, and treating intestinal worms.
Neem flowers can be used to treat anorexia, nausea, belching and intestinal worms.
Ayurveda suggest neem leaves are good for the eyes and useful in treating skin disease and headaches.
They’re used in aromatheraphy because of their calming effect. A 2008 study also found the alcoholic extract of the neem flowers to be an effective contraceptive.
■ NEEM TWIGS AND BARK
If you were born in India, you would have seen people chew away at a neem twig. For many years now, a neem twig is what people used as a make-do toothbrush.
It fights germs, maintains the alkaline levels in your saliva, keeps bacteria at bay, treats swollen gums and also gives you whiter teeth. The twig also shreds into threads, almost like bristles that also destroy and prevent plaque.
Neem twigs are used for cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, low sperm levels, urinary disorders, and diabetes.
The bark is used for malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases, pain, and fever.
■ NEEM OIL
Neem oil that’s extracted from neem seed is rich in medicinal properties which are what makes it a great ingredient in cosmetics and other beauty products: soaps, hair oil, hand wash, etc.
It can treat a bunch of skin diseases and is known to be an excellent mosquito repellent.
You can mix it with coconut oil and apply it over your body as well. It is believed that in India, small children are fed neem oil as a type of cure -all.
Besides being such a great Ayurvedic healer, neem oil can be be used to protect other plants.
It can also be used in creams, soaps and other cosmetic products.
● Say no to blackheads – take 2-3 drops of neem oil, dilute it with water and apply this mix on your blackheads. Apply this regularly to get rid of blackheads and prevent them from coming back.
● Anti-aging – neem oil is extremely nourishing and can be added to your face packs. It also help aging skin, any kind of skin irritation and itching.
● For great hair – take some neem oil and rub it into the scalp, leave it in for a while and wash. Neem oil can strengthen your hair, prevent hair fall and treat dandruff.
The fruit is used for hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract disorders, bloody nose, phlegm, eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, and leprosy.
The seed and the seed oil are used for leprosy and intestinal worms. They are also used for birth control and to cause abortions.
The stem, root bark, and fruit are used as tonic and astringent.
Some people apply neem directly to the skin to treat head lice, skin diseases, wounds, and skin ulcers: as a mosquito repellent; and as a skin softener.
Inside the vagina, neem is used for birth control.
Neem is also used as an insecticide