Definition of Neem, What is Neem?
1. A tall, usually evergreen East Indian tree (Azadirachta indica) widely cultivated in tropical Asia for its timber, resin, bark and aromatic seed oil, which is used medicinally and as an insecticide.
2. A large tree of India, all parts of which are useful to man: the leaves act as a natural pesticide, the fruit and seeds yield a medicinal oil, the bark is used to make a tonic and the trunk exudes a gum
Why choose NEEM?
Caring for yourself and your family using natural means to maintain good health is the goal of many today. There is a growing worldwide awareness that many trees and plants are not just food, they are medicine. The Neem tree could quite possibly be the perfect natural herb to help sustain all aspects of human life.
This evergreen tree, a relative of the Mahogany tree, is extremely hardy and able to thrive in a wide variety of climates. It has been used for almost 4,000 in India to treat a variety of health conditions. Rural villages in India refer to the Neem tree as "the village pharmacy" as it provides for everything from shade, insect repellent to oral care and topical skin care.
Today, modern science is following in these footsteps and is studying Neem for medicinal use. Neem oil, Neem bark and the Neem leaf have been shown to support the immune system. Topical uses in soaps, creams and lotions help soothe redness, itching and swelling. Neem bark, rich in antioxidants, can be ground and made into neem tooth powder to support and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
History of Neem
Ancient India tests refer to NEEM as Sarva Roga Nivarini, “THE CURER OF ALL AILMENTS”. The Persian name for NEEM is Azad-Dirakth or the “FREE TREE”. The medicinal properties of NEEM have been described in ancient Indian medical texts (4000BC) and the Sanskrit name, Nimba, is a derivative of the term NIMBATI syasthyamdadati ~ meaning “TO GIVE GOOD HEATH”.
For a very long time, the NEEM tree has been India's best kept secret! Ancient India was envied for its Black Pepper, Cardamom, Saffron, Turmeric, Sandalwood etc. and these prized ingredients were sought after and taken across the seas to Europe for centuries! The colonial powers that ruled India failed to grasp the significance of the presence of the NEEM tree in every nook and corner of the country.
Perhaps, if they had known about the wonderful array of uses of this tree, it would have become a worldwide phenomenon ages ago!! For Indians, the NEEM tree has always had many fascinating aspects. For the children, this evergreen, attractive tree was a haven from sun and rain - they spent hours in its cooling shade, plucked the sweet ripe fruit for a snack and built tree houses; which they shared with butterflies, birds and bees. The NEEM tree was the chosen one because its shade was known to be cooler than any other tree's besides no bugs or insects were to be found around it, because of its repellent action.
Health Benefits of Neem
What are the advantages of neem for women? NEEM proved an invaluable source of health, hygiene and beauty that was freely available. Having a bath with a concoction of Neem Tree Leaves kept their skin supple and healthy. NEEM leaf powder incorporated into their packs provided emollient and anti-aging action. The antiseptic properties of Neem Leaf Extracts helped in controlling pimples and acne.
NEEM was the mainstay of their beauty rituals. It was also a source of medicine to treat more than 100 health problems, from scratches and skin rashes, to malaria and diabetes. The women also used the leaves of NEEM to protect their stored grains and pulses through the year. For the men folk, the tree providedNeem Seeds and Neem Leaves which could be used as natural insecticide and fertilizer in their fields. It also provided medicinal potions for their cattle and livestock. Besides, the breeze that blew through the boughs of the tree kept their homes free of bacteria and viruses and cool through the summer.
No wonder Indians invariably planted this tree in the vicinity of their homes, and practiced gentle and daily interaction with this extraordinary plant. Ayurveda, India's five-thousand-year-old healing system, considers health as a reflection of the proper balance of life forces in a person.
NEEM is mentioned in almost one hundred entries for treating a wide variety of diseases and symptoms. As NEEM is a powerful blood purifier and detoxifier, it reduces fever and toxins involved in most inflammatory skin diseases and is effective in the treatment of malaria; its astringent action promotes healing. It boosts the immune system on all levels while helping the body fight infection.
Antibacterial/Antiviral Properties of Neem
Recent experiments have shown that one of the NEEM's components, gedunin (a limonoid), is as effective as quinine against malaria. Malaria affects millions of people and is responsible for about 2 million deaths every year in India and several other countries. China has adopted NEEM in a big way for its anti-malaria operation. Their formulation "Quinahausu" is going to become available in India as well. All Neem products have benefits.
NEEM Seed Oil treated mosquito nets and mosquito-repellent spray are also becoming popular. Such mosquito nets presently available in the North-East have to be made available in the whole country (Swadeshi patrika, chaitra-vaisakh 2052). Because of growing problems of resistance to conventional treatments, it is becoming more and more difficult to control malaria. Should NEEM products prove effective cure against malaria, the dream of complete eradication of malaria might become a reality.
NEEM has also been used traditionally in India to treat several viral diseases. Even many medical practitioners believe that chicken pox and warts can be treated with a paste of NEEM leaves - usually rubbed directly on the infected skin. Experiments with chicken pox and fowl pox show that although NEEM does not cure these diseases, it is effective for purposes of prevention. 'Crude NEEM extracts absorb the viruses, effectively preventing them from entering unaffected cells'. Recent tests, although unconfirmed, have shown that NEEM is effective against herpes virus and the viral DNA polymerase of hepatitis B virus. Should these findings be confirmed, NEEM could be used to cure these dreadful diseases.
Neem and Immune Function
Although it boosts immunity, NEEM doesn't over-stimulate the immune system. Indeed, it may help regulate an overactive immune system, minimizing allergic response and inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect may also underlie NEEM ’s establishes ability to reduce the severity of ulcers and prevent damage to the stomach lining.
NEEM may also protect against cancer. It increases the activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione-S-transderase in the liver, an enzyme that detoxifies potential carcinogens. NEEM enhances immune function, boosting production of interferon, increasing the ability of macrophages to engulf foreign bodies, and improving the ability of lymphocytes to respond to immune challenges such as a tetanus toxin. Shop Organic Neem Capsules and Moringa and Neem Capsules here.
NEEM extract also stimulates the production of lymphokine, another immune activator. This immune stimulating activity underlies NEEM extract’s ability to treat skin conditions such as scabies. In one study of 814 patients with scabies treated with a topical NEEM leaf paste for 15 days, 97% were cured.
NEEM is also effective against dermatological insects such as maggots and head lice. It is a common practice to apply NEEM all over the hair to kill head lice. Shop Neem Lice Products here.
Rural inhabitants in India and Africa regularly use NEEM twigs as tooth brushes. NEEM twigs contain antiseptic ingredients. That explains how these people are able to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Ayurveda describes NEEM as herbal drug which is used to clean the teeth and maintain dental hygiene. NEEM in the form of powder is also used to brush teeth and massage gums. Shop our line of Neem Bark Tooth powders here.
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Read more about the uses of neem products and what neem is used for here.