- Family Meliaceae
- Azadirachta indica syn. Melia azadirachta, M. indica, Antelaea azadirachta
- Azedarach, Nim, Margosa, Indian Lilac, Bead Tree, Pride of China, Holy Tree, Persian Lilac
- It should not be given to infants, the elderly, or the debilitated.
Native to the forests and woody areas throughout India and Sri Lanka, neem is now naturalized in other tropical regions, including Indonesia, Australia, and West Africa. It is a large evergreen tree, growing to over fifty feet, having compound leaves and small, white flowers.
Neem has been a part of Ayurvedic and East Indian folk medicine since the earliest of times and still provides some of the most frequently used herbal remedies.
- heals wounds
- triterpenoid bitters
- volatile oil
- Bark, leaves, twigs, seeds, bark sap or latex.
- Neem is considered a pharmacy in its own right in India and every part of the tree is used medicinally.
A decoction of the bitter, astringent bark is applied to hemorrhoids.
Infusions of the leaves are used for malaria, peptic ulcers, and intestinal worms.
The juice expressed from the leaves, an infusion, or an ointment can be applied externally to ulcers, wounds, boils, and eczema.
The twigs are used to clean the teeth, firming the gums and preventing gum disease.
Neem oil, expressed from the seeds, is commonly used as a hair dressing. Since it is strongly antifungal and antiviral, it prevents lice and other infestations. This oil is also used to treat leprosy and may be used as a vehicle for other active ingredients. Recent research is also indicating that the oil is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent; and, to some degree, it reduces fever and lowers blood sugar levels.
The sap is another remedy used for leprosy.
The seeds are spermicidal and currently under investigation as a contraceptive for both men and women.