More than half of modern day medicines are based on plant ingredients. Among several plants, the plant Azadirachta indica is generating great interest among researchers and medical fraternity for its several health benefits. Because of its medicinal qualities the plant has become “ultimate herb” today and in future. Azadirachta indica is a botanical name of a plant called Neemtree or Indian Lilac. This tree belongs to Mahagony family. Azadirachta indica is grown abundantly in countries around Indian subcontinent like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal etc. Neem tree is fast growing tropical plant.It reaches approximate height of 15 to 20 meters. It is an evergreen plant with wide spreading branches and long pinnate and serrated leaves. The flowers of Azadirachta indica are white while the fruit is like olive with presence of few elongated seeds. Almost each part of Neem tree has important medicinal value. For example the leaves are used for skin ailments while the bark is used to treat fever, and oil in extracted from fruit which is used locally on skin.
Health benefits of Azadirachta Indica Plant
The health benefits of Neem plant are known since thousands of years in Ayurveda.The leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, seeds posses wide range of health benefits. Let us know what they are. Most part of tree such as leaves and bark are bitter in taste. They posses antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Psoriasis and eczema: The oil extracted from seed of azadirachta indica plant is beneficial for alleviating itching, scaling and redness of psoriasis patches. The oil is applied locally over the lesions.
- Acne: Boil few leaves of Neem. Once they become soft pound them to makes it a thick paste. Apply the paste on the acne. Keep it for one hour before washing your face with water. The pulp is also beneficial for removing blackheads and whiteheads.
- Diabetes: Extract derived from azadirachta indica leaves is beneficial in controlling high blood sugar in diabetes patients. The extract reduces insulin requirement by almost 30 to 50 percent in insulin sensitive diabetes.
- Lice treatment: Applying Neem oil on scalp is useful to kill lice. You can also boil neem leaves in water and wash your scalp and hair with this water regularly to eradicate head lice.
- Malaria: A compound found in leaf of azadirachta indica is known for its antipyretic properties. An active ingredient called Irodin A is toxic to resistant strains of malarial parasites. Neem leaf tea is often used as a traditional medicine for malaria.
- Fungal skin and nail diseases: Apply neem oil over fungal diseases such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Regular application will help to eradicate fungus.
- Enhances ulcer healing: A compound called nimbidin is useful for enhancing healing of intestinal and gastric ulcers. This compound trigger increased production of gastric and intestinal mucosa.
- Contraceptive use: Trial conducted in United States and India show neem oil reduced fertility in male monkeys without reduction in sperm production and libido. In few human trials neem oil applied in vagina was found effective in preventing pregnancy because of its spermicidal action.
- Anticancer: Azadirachta indica also posses anticancer properties. The active compounds in this plant play pivotal role in prevention and progression of cancer.
Other Uses of Azadirachta Indica:
Azadirachta indica besides used as treatment for human disease is also useful as an insect repellent and insecticide. It is considered to be a natural insecticide. Mosquitoes run away from the smoke produced after burning dried neem leaves. It is also a natural insecticidal agent. Prepare powder from neem seeds. Soak the powder in water and spray it on the crop. Neem may not kill the insects on the crop but its repellent effect acts as a deterrent for the invading germs.
How to Prepare Azadirachta Indica Paste:
Applying neem paste is beneficial for alleviating many skin ailments. The paste is prepared from neem leaves. Neem paste is easy to prepare.
- Take few fresh neem leaves.
- Boil them is water.
- Now grind the leaves with the help of mortar and pestle.
- Use the prepared fresh paste over the area of skin that needs to be treated.
- Leave the paste till it dries.
- Wash the area with fresh cold water.