Nepali Name: Neem
SANSKRIT : Nimba, Nimbac, Nimbak.
Neem is a fast growing tree that can reach a height of 15-20 m, rarely to 35-40 m. It is evergreen. The branches are wide spread. The fairly dense crown is roundish or oval and may reach the diameter of 15-20 m in old, free-standing specimens.
The trunk is relatively short, straight and may reach a diameter of 1.2 m. The bark is hard, fissured or scaly, and whitish-grey to reddish-brown. The root system consists of a strong taproot and well developed lateral roots.
The glabrous fruits are elongate oval to nearly roundish, and when ripe are 1.4-2.8 x 1.0-1.5 cm. The fruit skin (exocarp) is thin and the bitter-sweet pulp (mesocarp) is yellowish-white and very fibrous.
The leaf contains number of Limonoids such as gedunin which have in vitro antiplasmodial activities.
The seed oil contains many bitter limonoids including nimbin, nimbibin, salanin etc.
Recent isolation isolation is tetranorterpeniod.
Odour is due to sulphur containing compounds.
Leaf extracts- sterols, limnonoids, flavonoids, their glycodides and coumarin.
Polysaccharides from the bark and glucoproteins from the gums so anti-inflamatory and anti- tumor.
Desacetylanimbin, nimbasterol, sulphur, glycoside, alkaloids.
Treatment according to Ayurveda:
Neem tree is generally considered to be an air purifier and preventive against malarial fever and cholera .All parts of the tree possess medicinal properties. The leaves are useful in relieving flatulence, promoting the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes, and in increasing secretion and discharge of urine. They also acts act as an insecticide. The bark is a bitter tonic and a stimulant .It arrests secretion and bleeding besides counter acting any spasmodic disorders.
An infusion or a decoction of the fresh leaves is a bitter vegetable tonic and alternative, especially in chronic malarial fevers because of its action on the liver.
It is very effective in piles.
The bark of the babul tree is used in the treatment of eczema.
Te sap of the neem tree has been found effective in leprosy. Simultaneously the patient’s body should be massaged with the sap.
The leaves applied externally are very useful in skin disease. They are especially beneficial in the treatment of boils, chronic ulcers, eruptions of small pox, swelling and wounds. They can be used either. An ointment prepared from neem leaves is very effective in healing ulcers and wounds.
If there is any hair loss or it has ceased to grow, washing with the decoction of neem leaves may help. This will not only stop hair from falling but also help their growth. Frequent application of neem oil also destroys insects in the hair.
The leaves are beneficial in treating epiphora- that is watering of the eyes, in which tears flow onto the cheeks due to abnormality of the tear drainages system. The eyelids should be painted morning and evening with this liquid.
Cleaning the teeth regularly with a neem twig prevents gum diseases. It firms up loose teeth, relieves toothache, evacuates the bad odour and protects the mouth from various infections.
Neem is very useful at the time of childbirth. Administration of the juice of neem leaves to the woman in labour before child birth produces normal contraction in the uterus and prevents possible inflammation .It corrects bowls movements and checks onset of fevers, thereby facilitating the normal delivery. The use of tepid decoction of neem leaves as a vaginal douche heals any wounds caused during delivery and disinfects the vaginal passage. Neem is also a powerful insecticide to kill soil nematodes and other plant parasites and is useful as mosquito repellant. And neem juice is used in toothpastes and contraceptives.