neem (Azadirachta indica)

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neem according to ayurveda

According to Indian ayurveda, the tree is of divine origin. It originated. The word neem is derived from Sanskrit nimba which means to bestow health.

Other synonyms of this name are:
ravisamba – has healing effect like that of sunrays,
neta – leader of medicinal plants,
pichumarda – antileprotic,
arishta – resistant to insects,
krimighan – antimicrobial,
sheetal – has a cooling effect on the human system.

Since ancient times, it came into prominence due to the part it played in rural daily life in India and for its healing power in chronic and obstinate diseases. It has been called Village Pharmacy, Heal all, and even Nature’s Drugstore.

History and Usage of neem tree

Neem - the legendary medicinal tree of India, has grown with the human settlement all over the country and has been an integral part of the Indian way of life for centuries. The history of the Neem tree is inextricably linked to the history of the Indian civilization.

The Neem tree has for a very long time been a friend and protector of the Indian villager. For ages Indians have trusted this tree to fortify their health and remedy scores of diseases. In addition, it has been used for protecting food and stored grains and as a fertilizer and natural pesticide for the fields. It has been used for a far wider array of uses than any other tree !

uses of neem tree

Used as Anti-diabetic
The neem oil and the bitter principle nimbidin have significant anti-diabetic activity, which is comparable to that of sulphonyl urea. Neem oil lowered the blood glucose levels of normoglycaemic and hypoglycaemic rats. Some commercial herbal preparations containing neem are available in India for treating diabetes.

Used as Anti-inflammatory
It is common practice to use neem oil, or a decoction and poultice made from leaves and bark, for external application in gout, rheumatism, arthritis, pains, etc. Two bitter compounds, nimbin and nimbinin, obtained from the oil were comparable to cortisone in their action. The bark showed anti-inflammatory effect due to polysaccharides and gallic acid.

Used as Anti-tumour
An intraperitoneal administration of polysaccharides from bark showed in vitro activity against Sarcoma 180 ascites tumour. In cases of mouth cancer its cytocidal effect on malignant cells has been documented. Cytotoxic effects of limonoids have also been reported.

Used as Anti-ulcerogenic
A mixture of neem bitters had anti-gastric activity. It protected patients with Shay ulceration and duodenal lesions.

Used as Hepatoprotective
An Ayurvedic preparation Neemtwagadi kashyam, with neem bark and other herbs, is specific for jaundice. In some experiments, neem was found effective for hepatotoxicity.

Used as Anthelmintic
It is effective against a large number of nematodes and in ankylostomiasis. It gave good results as an ingredient of an anti-filarial compound.

Used as Anti-microbial
It has been used as a disinfectant. Some recent studies have indicated that neem extract significantly inhibited many pathogenic organisms. Bark and leaf extracts suppressed fungal spore formation and in some cases were fungicidal. This activity may be due to sulphurous compounds or the limonoid gedunin in the tree.

components of neem

Leaves:
According to Ayurveda, Neem leaves help in the treatment of vatik disorders (neuro muscular pains). Neem leaves are also reported to remove toxins, purify blood and prevent damage caused by free radical in the body by neutralising them. Neem leaves are reported to be beneficial in eye disorders and insect bite poisons. It treats Vatik Disorders ( neuroand muscular pains )

Fruits:
Neem fruits are bitter, purgative, antihemorrhodial and anthelmintic in nature.

Flowers:
Neem flowers are used in vitiated conditions of pitta ( balancing of the body heat) and kapha ( cough formation ). They are astringent, anthelmintic and non-toxic.

Seeds:
Neem seeds are also described as anthelminitic, antileprotic, antipoisonous and bitter in taste.


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