Considered by most as a very powerful plant, widely used in the Ayurvedic System when it comes to dealing with nearly all types of Pitta and Kapha imbalances. This bitter plant has been traditionally used to purify the blood, cleanse the liver and support the immune system.
Other uses for Neem:
- Antibiotic, Anti-viral, Antimicrobial, Anti-fungal, Antibacterial, Anticeptic
- VERY potent natural pesticide due to Azadirachtin, the active ingredient (just soak the leaves all night and spray them straight into your plants or crops).
- Efficient agains Head Lice, you can mix some Neem Oil into Coconut or Almond Oil and massage directly into the scalp, leave for an hour and rinse.
- Neem Oil is used for most fungal skin conditions (Ezcema, Psoriasis, Herpes).
- Store dried Neem leaves into your grains and cereals to avoid bugs.
- Neem baths for Chicken Pox, you can put some fresh leaves or a few drops of Oil.
- Dental Care with Neem sticks or Neem Powder (dried crushed leaves) mixed into your toothpaste.
My experience with Neem living in Africa was using it's potent pesticide and insecticide properties. I started researching the plant for it's anti-malarian qualities, I noticed how most of the local Africans and Masai tribe members used the plant to not only prevent, but heal Malaria. The Swahili name for Neem is "Muorabaini" which means 40. They attribute Neem for the healing of 40 different illnesses. I became even more interested!
After Coconut Palms and Mango Trees, Neem trees are probably the most abundant throughout the city so I had plenty of fresh leaves to experiment with. I started juicing the leaves and crating a thick paste, but quickly noticed the potent scent. There was no way I was going to put it straight into my skin. I mixed a bit of coconut oil in it but didn't prevent my skin to turn all green. There had to be a better way...
Soon after, I came across a local provider of cold pressed Neem Oil, the main ingredient of my soon to be Home-made Repellent, which protected me and my family for almost 2 years against Malaria and Dengue Fever, I skipped the use of Deet for the entire length of our stay, and it wasn't long before some of my friends and family started to try the fragant mix. The addition of Lemongrass Oil (also a very powerful anti-bug substance) make the mix smell like the Spa!
Photos by: The Mindful Sprout™
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, by Vasant Lad
- The Spices of Zanzibar, by Javed Jafferji - Jaki Sainsbury
- The Coconut Oil Miracle, by Bruce Fife (Author), Jon J. Kabara (Foreword)
Article: Biological Activities and Medicinal Properties of Neem:
Department of Physiology, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Kolkata 700 032, India