Charaka Samhita, one of the ancient texts of Ayurveda describes neem as ‘sarva roga nivarini’ which literally translates into ‘universal healer of all diseases’. This hints at the historical relevance and prominence of this tree. The healing characteristics of neem and its usage in the traditional, indigenous medical system has been recorded in the renowned ‘Arthashastra’ by Kautilya. Mythological references point out that drops of heavenly nectar fell on the tree, thus granting it the medicinal properties. It is therefore not wrong to say that the tree has godly origins. Widely cultivated across India, neem is scientifically known as ‘Azadirachta indica’ and belongs to the mahogany family Meliaceae.
Apart from its medicinal values, neem is a wonderful source of shade and is evergreen. Its drought resistant property adds to its properties. Often referred to as a boon to mankind the tree is complete and perfect in the sense that every part of it can be used. The root, trunk, gum, leaves, fruits and seeds are used in various forms for healing processes. Medical research has identified around 140 components in different part of the neem tree which can be utilized for various therapeutic purposes. Neem is made into ointments, hair oil, toothpastes, body creams, pills and tonics which show that it is used extensively in the pharmaceutical sector.
The following are the health benefits of neem:
10) Treats wounds and rashes
The immediate remedy for any minor external injuries, rashes and wounds is neem. Its wide scale availability especially in rural areas makes it a powerful medicine and is often used for all age groups. Neem has strong anti fungal and anti bacterial properties which prevents and curbs infections from the wounds and rashes. Fresh neem leaves can be crushed and its juice can be applied on the wound. Another advantage of the tree is the fact that it does not cause any side effects.
9) Treats Nail Issues
Neem is a perfect solution for common nail problems such as peeling of nails, discoloring and nails becoming brittle. Neem oil is the most effective form that tackles these issues. The nails should be nicely massaged on the nails and cuticles for better results. However, it should be ensured that hands are properly washed as neem has a prominent bitter taste.
8) Enhances blood circulation
Neem has the power to cleanse the body from outside as well as from within. Regular consumption of neem proves beneficial to the body as it improves blood circulation and hormonal balance. Neem leaves are consumed in the morning on empty stomach for better results as it plays an effective role in purifying the body. It clears toxins from the blood thus cleansing it as well.
7) Oral Health
The importance of neem in oral hygiene is a well known aspect. The numerous advertisements of products using neem for making toothpaste and dental products are proof in themselves. Neem twig is the most effective to cleanse the mouth and teeth. Neem leaves can be crushed into a paste form and this will eradicate gum problems, foul smell and makes the teeth whiter. Problems like cavity, tooth ache etc which can pose serious health concerns can be effectively tackled with the help of neem. Strong and shiny teeth and an impeccable oral hygiene can be effortlessly achieved.
Neem is an effective cure for fever caused due to malaria. The smell of neem leaves makes it difficult for mosquitoes to breed and this serves as an effective technique to reduce mosquitoes. Neem includes gedunin and limonoid which can cure the fever caused due to malaria. Neem can block the development of the gamete in a malaria affected person. This prevents the infected person from developing malaria and also curbs the advancement of the disease. Neem increases the resistance of the body and provides strength against infections. Neem is effective against not only mosquitoes but also against other flies which are poisonous. This property of neem is why it is used in mosquito repellants.
5) Cures Digestive Disorder
Neem helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system and eliminates the harmful bacteria in the stomach. It should be consumed with care as some compositions of neem can destroy the hydrochloric acid in the stomach lining whereas certain other compositions can reduce gastric secretions. Neem can cure stomach ulcers and has anti-inflammatory properties. Oral doses of neem leaf extracts gave outstanding immunity against peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers and enhance the healing process of gastric lesions.
4) Reproductive Health
Neem is effective in enhancing the sexual health. It is considered as an effective and safe birth control method. Research proves that neem oil is the most effective in this regard.It is believed to reduce the fertility in both men and women.
3) Cure for Diabetes
Neem is considered as a natural cure for diabetes mellitus.Neem eaf extracts and seeds are most commonly utilized for this purpose.It has been scientifically and medically proved that neem has a major role in cure for diabetes.Neem tablets are popolar and is widely prescribed especially by Ayurvedic doctors.Thsi increased popularity of neem in the use of drugs for diabetes is the fact that it has no side effects. Neem is considered to be one of tehmost safest herbs available and therefore the drugs have little or no synthetic composition which makes it natural and safe for use. Neem leaf extracts and seed oil help in reducing the intake of insulin and also reduce the glucose level in blood thus benefitting a diabetes patient.
2) Benefits on Hair
The importance of neem in hair care is well known. The shampoos and other hair products that has neem has a primary or main component are in huge demand in the market. Neem is an effective, natural remedy for problems that concern hair. The anti microbial and purifying properties of neem make it effective against the common hair loss problem. It reduces the thinning of hair and helps in the growth of healthy and strong hair. Applying neem oil to the scalp addresses and to an extent solves the issues of dry and flaky scalp, dandruff and infections of the scalp. Fresh neem leaves can be ground and applied directly on the scalp and hair roots for better results. Neem can prevent premature graying of the hair. It also ensures a clean scalp as its powerful smell can keep lice and other insects at bay.
1) Skin Care
Neem is widely popular for its role in skin care. Its anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties make it an effective cure for allergies, rashes and other wounds. Neem is widely used in face washes, face packs and soaps. It serves as an effective method to get rid of blemishes, pimples, boils and other skin infections. When used regularly, neem can clear black heads and acnes. Boiled neem leaves mixed with orange peel mixture or turmeric serves as a best face pack and prevent skin pigmentation. Regular usage can guarantee healthy and glowing skin. It can effectively control problems of oily skin and also reduce the dryness of skin. Thus it gives a balanced effect to the skin. It is the best anti aging tool for the skin as it has immune stimulating compounds and regenerative properties.