NEEM

BENEFITS OF NEEM

Neem oil that's extracted from neem seeds is rich in medicinal properties, which have great benefits for skin health.  Ayurveda suggests Neem leaves are good for the eyes and useful in treating skin disease and headaches. Additionally, their calming effects make them ideal for aromatherapy.

Help Promote Hair Growth

 Nourished hair is just great. Extracted from the seeds of Neem, Neem oil can help in strengthening hair quality and promote the growth of hair. Due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, Neem oil is an excellent way to curb dandruff, which makes the hair stronger, encouraging hair growth too.

May Help Reduce Skin Infections

Neem is bundled with several vital properties. Apart from hair and dental health, Neem is used for skin infections treatments due to its detoxifying, cleansing, and antibacterial properties. Neem oil has cleansing properties that expel dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin.

Help Promote Dental Health

Neem may help fight plaque build-up and, in turn, prevent gingivitis, this claim is backed up by several studies. In a 2017 study, 20 subjects were given mouthwash with either chlorhexidine gluconate, a substance commonly used to prevent gum disease. The researchers found neem mouthwash was as effective as the medication and suggested Neem may be a cost-effective alternative.

WHAT IS NEEM TREE?

Neem, also called nim or margosa, is a fast-growing tree of the mahogany family. It is valued as a medicinal plant, as a source of organic pesticides, and for its timber. Native to Africa and Asia, Neem plant has long been used in Ayurvedic and folk medicine, as well as in cosmetics and organic farming applications.

Neem trees average between 15–30 metres in height and have attractive rounded crowns and thick furrowed bark. The compound leaves have toothed leaflets and are typically evergreen. A Neem tree usually begins bearing fruit after 3-5 years, becomes fully productive in 10 years, and from then on, can produce up to 50 kg of fruits annually. It may live for more than 200 years.

Most parts of the neem tree are awfully bitter, except for its flowers. The fruit is a smooth yellow-green drupe and has a sweet-flavoured pulp. Additionally, the fruits have an inviting honey-like scent that attracts many bees. That explains why Neem honey is popular, and reportedly contains no trace of azadirachtin. The seed is composed of a shell and a nut, and sometimes two or three nuts, each about half of the seed's weight. It is the nut that is mostly used in pest control.

The seeds are fairly easy to prepare. The fruit drops from the trees by itself; the pulp, when wet, can be removed by rubbing against a rough surface; and the clean, white seeds are obtained. In certain nations such as Togo and Senegal, people leave the cleaning of the fruit to bats and birds, who feed on the sweet pulp and then spit out the seeds under the trees.

Neem is usually grown from seed but can be propagated from cuttings or root suckers.  The plant is resilient and grows well in poor and rocky soils, but it cannot survive freezing temperatures.

Oil extracted from the seeds can be used directly as an insect and mite repellent, insecticide, and fungicide. It is the source of many commercial pesticide products, including dusts, granules, and concentrates.

PUBLISHED NEEM RESEARCH

 Jalaluddin M, Rajasekaran UB, Paul S, Dhanya RS, Sudeep CB, Adarsh VJ. Comparative Evaluation of Neem Mouthwash on Plaque and Gingivitis: A Double-blind Crossover Study. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2017;18(7):567-571. doi:10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2085

Pai MR, Acharya LD, Udupa N. Evaluation of antiplaque activity of Azadirachta indica leaf extract gel--a 6-week clinical study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;90(1):99-103. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.035

Almas K. The antimicrobial effects of extracts of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Salvadora persica (Arak) chewing sticks. Indian J Dent Res. 1999;10(1):23-6. Doi:10865390

Maity P, Biswas K, Chattopadhyay I, Banerjee RK, Bandyopadhyay U. The use of neem for controlling gastric hyperacidity and ulcer. Phytother Res. 2009;23(6):747-55. doi:10.1002/ptr.2721

Paul R, Prasad M, Sah NK. Anticancer biology of Azadirachta indica L (neem): a mini-review. Cancer Biol Ther. 2011;12(6):467-76. doi:10.4161/cbt.12.6.16850

National Research Council. 1992. Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1924. 

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