Ancient Indians system of Medicine believed in utilizing everything nature had to give to promote an all natural healing remedies for a healthy lifestyle. One such herb of India with worldwide fame and known for its amazing healing properties and medicinal value is Neem.
Neem, commonly known as Margosa in English or “Aritha” in Sanskrit, is known as the free tree of India as it is found almost everywhere. It is part of every Indian home due to its many applications and is considered to be sacred. Everything from this tree can be used in one way or the other. The bark extrudes a fluid called neera, green leaves, branches, small white flowers that blossom in spring to the oval fruits that contain one seed each that contains oil.
External Health Application:
Applying Neem powder or oil topically helps in healing wounds, burn injuries, itch, rash, infection or allergy. Taking bath with Neem helps the body counter mild infections. Its tropical application can relieve acne, eczema and even ringworms. The oil is extensively used for hair loss, greying hair, dandruff or lice.
Its local application of arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, lower back pain and muscular-skeletal pain has had good results.
Internal Health Application:
Chewing on a Neem twig has been a common practice in India to prevent gum disease and maintain strong and healthy teeth. However, as the twig is very bitter, it is now utilized in Neem toothpaste that helps prevent cavities, gingivitis, tooth loss or toothache.
Neem is beneficial in with indigestion, constipation, bad taste in mouth, de-worming, gastritis, is a blood purifier, detoxicant and cures urinary tract infection. It helps in maintaining proper secretions of liver; works as an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent, suppresses fever and relieves cough.
Adding boiled Neem water to bath helps rid of skin infections, acne and white heads. In this form it makes a great skin toner to clear scars, pigmentation and blackheads on face.
Boil Neem leaves with small segment of orange peel in a bit of water. Add honey, yogurt, soy milk to for a smooth paste and apply to face to clear skin problems and also to reduce appearance of pores.
Neem has been used as a natural pesticide because of its remarkable property to fight pests and other organisms that are harmful for agricultural and household purpose. It is considered to be the most wonderful discovery for humans. It acts as anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-protozoan and anti-viral.
Despite all the health benefits, Neem is largely ignored by urban folks in favour of more synthetic ingredients. However, as more and more research is being done on Neem outside India, we are finding ourselves coming back to this very ancient yet very useful, simple and miraculous tree that was cherished by Ayurveda over 5,000 years ago!
Neem has rightly been called Sarvaroghari. Modern scientists have isolated more than 140 compounds from various parts of the Neem tree that have been evaluated for curative powers. Claimed to be a ‘Village dispensary’ the following properties found in Neem, make it one of the best herbal medicines.
- vitamin C
- oxalic acid
The uses of Neem as a medicine dates back to 4500 years, where the benefits of Neem’s fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, roots and bark have been mentioned in the earliest Sanskrit medical writings. Each of these has been used in the Indian Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine since Neem provides an answer to many lethal diseases.
An easily available resource, Neem leaves are evergreen, available throughout the year. Neem leaves enhance biological functions by strengthening the immune system, boosting respiratory functions, improves digestive health, and supports the liver by getting rid of the unwanted toxins in the blood.
Powdered Neem leaves mixed with water to a paste and applied on the eyes relieves eye problems.
In India Neem has been used as a tradition to treat various viral diseases. According to physicians, as a preventive measure a paste made with Neem leaves rubbed on the infected area is said to be very effective for treating warts, chicken pox and small pox. This is because Neem effectively absorbs the viruses protecting them from entering the unaffected cells.
According to Research conducted in Germany, Neem extracts, toxic to herpes virus accelerate healing.