Melia azedarach is a deciduous plant belonging to mahagany family. It is popularly known by many names such as chinaberry tree, Indian lilac, Syringa berrytree, Bakayan tree, Maha neem etc. It is a tall plant measuring somewhere between 7 to 12 meters. This ornamental plant has multiple medicinal properties besides several other uses such as insecticide and repellent. The plant grows mainly in the tropical climate and in many places it is planted as a street tree. Many parts of plant are useful that may include the bark and its leaves.The plant has edible uses, medicinal uses, and even used for agroforestry purpose.
Medicinal Uses of Melia Azedarach:
For medicinal purpose the parts used are roots, stembark, leaves, bark, seed, gum or sap. Constituents present in each of the part makes them unique for treating certain ailments. For example the serrated leaves contain quercetin, rutin, salanin, tetranortriterpenoids. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that help to reduce inflammation in the body. Rutin is a flavanoid which also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties besides being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The bark contains several oils and alkaloids.All these qualities make melia azedarach a useful medicinal plant for various disease conditions. Traditionally melia azedarach and its different parts are used for:
- Ascariasis worms in intestine: The infusion prepared from the bark and leaf is effective in eradicating ascariasis (roundworm).
- Diuretic and antilithic: The juice extracted from the leaf is used as an diuretic and to dissolve kidney stones.
- Diarrhea: A decoction prepared from melia azedarach leaves is beneficial to reduce intensity of diarrhea.
- Tooth pain and gum infection: Gargling decoction prepared from leaves of this plant is beneficial in alleviating toothache and infection in teeth and gums. Fresh or dried leaves can be used to prepare juice or a decoction.
- Dandruff: The juice from leaves when applied to the hair roots is beneficial to cure dandruff.
- Neuritis and neuralgic headache: A poultice prepared from flowers and leaves when placed on the painful area alleviates the neuralgic pain.
- Arthritis pain: The alkaloids and anti inflammatory properties of bakayan leaves are well known. Boil the leaves and apply them over the painful joint. It reduces inflammation and pain in the arthritic joint.
- Lice killer: Flowers of melia azedarach are lice killers. Lice are a menace as it causes severe itching in scalp. Prepare paste from flowers of this plant. Apply it over the scalp and hair. Rinse after few hours. Apply the paste once in a week for few weeks till the lice clears off. Usually it clears of with one application.
- Menstrual problems: The decoction prepared from leaves is beneficial to regularize menses if your menses is irregular. Drink one teaspoon of the decoction once or twice in a day.
- Ringworm: Prepare powder from the root bark. Dissolve small amount of water to make it a paste. Apply the paste over ringworm. In few days of application ringworm infection is eradicated.
- Vaginal fungal infection: Boil the leaves of melia azedarach in a vessel containing water. Wash the vagina with the water when it becomes cool. It is an effective natural treatment to cure fungal vaginal infection.