Neem tree belongs to Meliaceae family. It is commonly known by the names nimtree and Indian Lilac and scientifically Azadirachta Indica.
Native to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, this tree grows mainly in tropical and semi-tropical regions. It is also found in the islands of the southern part of Iran. Neem leaves contain beneficial compounds like nimbolide, nimbin, nimbinen and nimandial, which have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nimbidol and gedunin are strong antifungal agents found in neem leaves, which can destroy fungi responsible for ringworm, athlete foot and nail fungus.
Neem oil is obtained by pressing the seed kernels of neem tree. Neem oil comes in different color varieties such as yellowish brown, golden yellow, dark brown, reddish brown, bright red or greenish brown. It has bitter taste with strong odor, just like combined odors of garlic and peanut. The main constituent of neem oil is triglycerides and its bitter taste is due to triterpenoid compounds. Due to its medicinal and insecticidal properties, neem oil is used in wide range of products such as soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, creams, lotions, cosmetics and mosquito repellants. Neem oil is rich in vitamin E and essential amino acids, which make it an excellent remedy for skin problems like psoriasis, eczema and skin allergies. Due to presence of active component, azadirachtin, neem oil can be effectively used to repel and kill pests. Due to their medicinal properties, neem leaves and neem oil are used to treat a variety of health conditions.
Medicinal Properties of Neem Leaves
Neem leaves are easily available and they are known to contain chemicals that can help to reduce blood sugar levels, fight bacteria, heal ulcers in digestive tract and prevent plaque formation in mouth.
– Used in Shingles Natural Treatments
– Neem leaves extract is used to treat viral diseases like small pox, chicken pox and warts. Neem extract causes toxic effects on herpes virus and accelerates healing. Consumption of herbal tea prepared from neem leaves relieves the symptoms of herpes. Due to its antiviral activities, neem leaves can be used in bathing water to relieve skin problems like warts, eczema and cold sores.
– Neem leaves can be considered as effective blood cleanser. Intake of neem infused boiled water helps to reduce blood sugar levels. Neem leaves are also known to dilate blood vessels and improve blood circulation as well as reduces heart rate. It prevents erratic heart beats and lowers high blood pressure.
– Neem leaves can be effectively used to treat fungal diseases including fungal infections of lung, bronchi and mucous membranes. Neem is an excellent remedy to cure fungal infections of skin, hair and nails. Consumption of neem leaves helps to suppress cancer cells.
– Gedunin, one of the components in neem, is quite effective in treating malaria. Odor of crushed neem leaves repels the mosquitoes and prevents them from laying eggs.
– Neem leaves can be a good treatment option for arthritis. It helps relieve pain and swelling in the joints. It reduces muscle pain and alleviates osteoarthritis, rheumatism and lower back pain.
– Neem leaves can be effectively used to lighten pigmentation and scars caused by acne and scabies. It can be applied to heal minor wounds. It is one of the powerful remedies for acne treatment, making skin clear and smooth.
– Neem leaves are good for the health of hair and scalp. They can be used to treat dandruff, dry scalp and hair loss.
Health Benefits of Neem Oil
Neem oil should be used externally on the skin. It is therapeutically used as folk medicine to manage various ailments like leprosy, respiratory disorders and constipation. It is used for the topical treatment of eczema, warts, psoriasis, ringworm, infected burn wounds, athlete’s foot, cold sores, chronic syphilitic sores and slow-healing skin ulcers. Neem oil possesses analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties and immunostimulant activity that boosts defense mechanism to fight infectious microorganisms.
– Neem oil consists of high levels of antioxidants, which can protect the skin from environmental damage. Carotenoids in neem oil inhibit the action of free radicals on the skin and prevent aging. Neem oil is highly loaded with vitamins and fatty acids, which are readily absorbed into the skin. It rejuvenates the skin and improves its elasticity. Regular usage of neem oil helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and makes the skin appear youthful and glowing.
– Neem oil is an excellent home remedy for dry scalp and dandruff. It prevents scalp disorders like itchy scalp and psoriasis. Regular application of neem oil enhances hair growth and strengthens the hair roots.
– Neem oil is highly effective in treating fungal infections caused by Candida, trichophyton, trichosporon, epidermophyton and geotricum. It can also inhibit the growth of a wide spectrum of bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus aureus and Vibrio cholera.
– Neem oil is used in dental care products like mouth wash and toothpaste. Due to its antiseptic properties, neem oil helps to keep the teeth and gums strong and healthy.
With plentiful of health benefits, neem leaves and neem oil can be considered as the best tonic for good health. Another advantage is that these medicines are readily available.