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Azadirachta indica - Neem - Nimba - Margosa

see Azadirachta indica

Melia azadirachta, Meliaceae

Other names: Neem (S), Vempu, Veppu (T), Neem, Margosa (E)

Neem, org (1/2 lb.)

Item Number : 7362 Price: $12.95

USDA Organic

Certified Organic Neem powder (Azadirachta indica)

Detoxification for pitta and kapha*

   * Maintains healthy skin*
   * Detoxifies the liver and blood*
   * Removes excess pitta and kapha from the system*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

   * Rasa (taste): bitter
   * Virya (action): cooling
   * Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
   * Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for pitta and kapha, aggravates vata in excess

Commentary: Neem is widely used in Ayurveda because of its effectiveness in dealing with nearly all types of pitta and kapha imbalances. Bitter and very cooling, it is usually combined with other herbs to offset its vata-aggravating qualities. Neem has traditionally been used to purify the blood, cleanse the liver and support the immune system. It is also commonly used to support healthy skin and to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.*

For a 1 lb bag click here For five lbs or more in bulk click here

Herbal tablets that contain Neem include: Blood Cleanse, Mahasudarshan, Neem, Para Cleanse, and Sweet Ease

Other products that contain Neem include: Kapha Massage Oil, Mahanarayan Oil, Neem Oil, Neem Soap, and Soothing Skin Balm

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

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Botanical name: Azadirachta indica, Melia azadirachta, Meliaceae

Other names: Neem (S), Vempu, Veppu (T), Neem, Margosa (E)

Botany: Neem is a medium to large evergreen tree, attaining a height of between 15 and 20 meters, with a straight bole, widely spreading branches, and grayish tubercled bark. The leaves are alternate and imparipinately compound, with 7-17 leaflets arranged in pairs, often with a terminal leaflet, ovate to lanceolate, sickle-shaped with an uneven base and serrate margins, 6-8 cm long, 1-3 cm wide. The flowers are cream to yellow in color, borne in axillary panicles, giving rise to a single seeded ellipsoid drupe that is greenish-yellow when ripe. Neem is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world, and is thought to be native to the subcontinent (Warrier et al 1994, 227; Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 536-7).

Part used: Bark, leaves (Neempatra), and seeds (Neemphala).


     Rasa: kashaya, tikta
     Vipaka: katu
     Virya: shita
     Karma: dipanapachana, vamana, purishasangrahaniya, krimighna, jvaraghna, chedana, dahaprashamana, raktaprasadana, kushtaghna, mutravirechana, sandhaniya, vishaghna, Pittakaphahara (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 242; Warrier et al 1994, 227).

Constituents: Neem is a fairly well researched medicinal plant, and as a result a number of constituents have been isolated from it. Among these are bitter-tasting terpenes called limonoids, including azadirachtin, Neemnal, nimbidiol, margocin, margocinin and related compounds, as well as a variety of other terpenoids including isoazadirolide, nimbocinolide, gedunin, margosinone and nimbonone. More recently, researchers have isolated a series of tetranortriterpenoids including azadirachtol, 1alpha,2alpha-epoxy-17beta-hydroxyazadiradione, 1alpha,2alpha-epoxynimolicinol, and 7-deacetylnimolicinol. Other constituents include the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, rutin, and myricetin, as well as ?-sitosterol, a tannin, a gum, and a series of polysaccharides named CSP-II and -III, CSSP-I, -II, and -III, etc (Duke 2003; Malathi et al 2002; Hallur et al 2002; Williamson 2002, 57; Luo et al 2000; Kapoor 1990, 60).

Medical research:

Hepatotoxicity: The effect of aqueous leaf extract of Azadirachta indica was evaluated in paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The extract given in doses of 500 mg/kg (p.o.) significantly reduced elevated levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT). A hepatoprotective result was also observed macroscopically and histologically (Bhanwra et al 2000). The protective effect of Neem leaf was investigated on hepatic lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status during N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)-induced gastric carcinogenesis in male Wistar rats. The administration of the extract significantly lowered lipid peroxidation and enhanced the hepatic levels of glutathione and glutathione dependent enzymes (Arivazhagan et al 2000).

Ulcerogenesis: Researchers investigated the antisecretory and antiulcer effects of an aqueous extract of Neem bark. The extract was shown to dependently inhibit pylorus-ligation and drug (mercaptomethylimidazole)-induced acid secretion. It was also found to dose-dependently block gastric ulcer induced by restraint-cold stress and indomethacin. The extract was found to be similar to ranitidine and more potent than omeprazole in inhibiting pylorus-ligation induced acid secretion. In a stress ulcer model the Neem extract was found to be more effective than ranitidine but almost equal to omeprazole. The bark extract also displayed a gastroprotective effect in stress-induced ulcer by significantly preventing mucus and glutathione depletion. It prevented oxidative damage in the gastric mucosa by significantly blocking lipid peroxidation, and scavenged the hydroxyl radical, a causative factor for gastric ulcer. Overall, the extract was found to be more effective than previously identified antioxidants such as melatonin, vitamin E, desferrioxamine and alpha-phenyl N-tert butylnitrone (Bandyopadhyay et al 2002).

Hypoglycemic: A hypoglycemic effect was observed with an Azadirachta indica leaf extract and seed oil, in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits, although the effect was more pronounced in diabetic animals. Pretreatment with A. indica leaf extract or seed oil, started 2 weeks prior to alloxan, partially prevented the rise in blood glucose levels as compared to control diabetic animals (Kholsa et al 2000).

Cardiovascular: The effects of aqueous leaf extract of Azadirachta indica were evaluated on isolated prefused frog and rabbit heart. Researchers noted dose dependent negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, increases in coronary blood flow in isolated rabbit heart (Kholsa et al 2002). Plasma lipid levels (cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triacylglycerol) were estimated in patients given an extract of Neem. Lipid levels including cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were found to be lower during therapy when compared to the control group (non-malaria patients), while triacylglycerol and HDL-cholesterol levels were higher in the malaria patients than the control group (Njoku et al 2001). The effect of an Azadirachta indica hydroalcoholic leaf extract on the cardiovascular system was studied. The leaf extract was found to reduce a dose-dependent hypotensive effect without altering the amplitude or rate of respiration. In isolated frog heart, there was no noticeable change in the amplitude of contraction or heart rate at lower doses of leaf extract. At higher doses there was temporary cardiac arrest in diastole (Chattopadhyay 1997). An alcoholic extract of Neem leaf was investigated for its effects on ECG and blood pressure in rats. The intravenous administration of the extract resulted in initial bradycardia followed by cardiac arrhythmia, as well as a significant and dose-related fall in blood pressure (Koley and Lal 1994).

Immune: The hexane extract of Neem seeds caused a specific activation of T lymphocyte cells of CD8+ subtype as well as phagocytic cells followed by an elevation in the cytokines gamma-interferon and TNF, in rodents (Mukherjee et al 1999). Using the haemolytic plaque technique, an aqueous extract of Azadirachta indica stem bark was shown to enhance the immune response of BALB/C mice to sheep red blood cells in vivo (Njiro and Kofi-Tsekpo 1999). The immunomodulatory effects of Neem oil were studied in mice, treated intraperitoneally, with or without peanut oil. Treatment enhanced the number of leukocytic cells, and peritoneal macrophages exhibited enhanced phagocytic activity and expression of MHC class-II antigens. Neem oil treatment also induced the production of gamma interferon. The spleen cells of Neem oil-treated animals showed a significantly higher lymphocyte proliferative response to an in vitro challenge with Con A or tetanus toxoid (TT) compared to controls (Upadhyay et al 1992).

Antiinflammatory: A water soluble component of an alcoholic extract of Neem leaves at a dose of 200 mg/kg (p.o.) exerted significant antiinflammatory activity in a cotton pellet granuloma assay in rats. The extract also inhibited the biochemical parameters (viz. DNA, RNA, lipid peroxide, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase) studied in cotton pellet exudates (Chattopadhyay et al 1998).

Antitumor: Researchers examined the inhibitory effects of Neem flowers on 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary gland carcinogenesis in female Sprague Dawley rats and on aflatoxin B(1)(AFB(1))-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in male Wistar rats. Neem flowers resulted in a marked reduction of the incidence of mammary gland (approx. 35.2%) and liver tumors (61.7% and 80.1% for benign and malignant tumors, respectively). Furthermore, the multiplicity of tumors per rats was also lower in the Neem flower groups, i.e. those for mammary gland tumors and benign and malignant liver tumors were reduced to 44.0%, 87.9% and 88.9%, respectively (Tepsuwan et al 2002). Neem oil was found to enhance the radiosensitivity of Balbc/3T3 cells by interacting with residual damage after x-irradiation, converting the sublethal damage or potentially lethal damage into lethal damage, inhibiting the double-strand break repair or reducing the G(2) phase of the cell cycle (Kumar et al 2002).

Anxiolytic: The potential anxiolytic activity of a leaf extract of A. indica was investigated and compared with that of diazepam in rats using elevated plus maze and open field behaviour test paradigms of anxiety. Doses equal to 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg of the freshly prepared leaf extract of A. indica were administered preorally 45 minutes before behavioural testing. Low doses of the extract produced significant anxiolytic effects comparable to diazepam, whereas higher doses did not (Jaiswal et al 1994).

Contraceptive: Researcher examined the effect of Azadirachta indica powder on fertility. Male albino rats received 100 mg each A. indica leaf powder by gavage. On alternate days, a second group of rats received 0.125 mg testosterone dipropionate intramuscularly. A third group received both A. indica leaf powder by gavage and testosterone dipropionate intramuscularly. After autopsy, an ultrastructural analysis of the testis revealed that animals treated with A. indica there were alterations in both the Sertoli cells and Leydig cells, and defects in spermatids, suggesting antispermatogenic and antiandrogenic properties (Kasturi et al 2002). The hexane extract of Neem seeds was found to completely inhibit pregnancy in rodents up to a concentration of 10%. No apparent toxic effects could be seen following treatment (Mukherjee et al 1999). The effect of the oral administration of a crude aqueous extract of Neem on serum testosterone and other blood constituents was studied in the male Wistar rats for 10 weeks. Treatment with Neem resulted in significant decreases in total testosterone, total bilirubin and K+ in serum, with increases in packed cell volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell, white blood cell and lymphocyte counts, all without showing any cytotoxic effects in the body (Parshad et al 1994).

Oral hygiene: A clinical trial over a two month period showed that a Neem mouthwash was found to be active against Streptococcus mutans, reversing incipient carious lesions (Vanka et al 2001). Chewing sticks made from Azadirachta indica was observed to be susceptible to post-harvest spoilage and are not advisable for oral hygiene measures if not fresh (Etebu et al 2003).

Scabies: A Neem and Haridra paste was used in the treatment of scabies in 814 people. A 97% cure rate was obtained within 3 to 15 days of treatment, with no toxic or adverse reactions (Charles and Charles 1992).

Mosquito repellent: Two percent Neem oil mixed in coconut oil applied to the exposed body parts of human volunteers, provided complete protection for 12 hours from mosquito bites (Sharma et al 1993).

Antiviral Researchers investigated the in vitro and in vivo inhibitory potential of a crude aqueous extract of Neem leaves and isolated azadirachtin on the replication of the Dengue virus type-2. The aqueous extract of Neem completely inhibited viral replication, whereas azadirachtin had no effect (Parida et al 2002). A methanolic extract fraction of the leaves of Neem was found to inhibit plaque formation in 6 antigenic types of Coxsackie virus B in vitro (Badam et al 1999).

Antifungal: Azadirachta indica (stem bark) demonstrated fungistatic and fungicidal activity against Candida spp., in vitro (Fabry et al 1996).

Antibacterial: A methanolic and acetone extract of Azadirachta indica demonstrated a significant antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus (Alzoreky and Nakahara 2003). A Neem extract was found to be effective at 50% concentration on Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus faecalis, in vitro (Almas 1999).

Toxicity: A cumulative oral dose of the crude bark extract of Neem, of 1 to 9 g/kg in mice over a 15 day period, was well tolerated and below the LD50 (Bandyopadhyay et al 2002). The seed oil of Neem was determined to have a 24 hour oral LD50 of 14 ml/kg in rats and 24 ml/kg in rabbits. The lungs and central nervous system appeared to be the target organs of toxicity. In comparison, a mustard seed oil was determined to have an oral LD50 of 80 ml/kg (Gandhi et al 1988).

Indications: Dyspepsia, ulcers, intestinal parasites, hemorrhoids, liver diseases, fever, malarial fever, cough, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, skin diseases, inflammatory joint disease, cystitis, amenorrhea, diabetes, tumors, conjunctivitis and ophthalmic disorders generally.

Contraindications: Vatakopa.

Medicinal uses: Neem is a widely used remedy in India, cultivated in villages, gardens and parks for its beauty as well as for its medicinal properties, as a culinary spice, as a chewing stick, and for firewood. The name Neem is an ancient name, derived from the Sanskrit phrase “Neemti svasthyamdadati,” meaning “good health.” Neem is a sacred tree in India, associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance and good fortune, and Surya, the sun. Neem has a bitter taste and a cooling energy, acting to remove congestion and reduce inflammation, and is thus reserved for afflictions of Pitta and Kapha. Although one study indicates an anxiolytic effect, the Bhavapraksha states specifically that it is “bad for the heart,” and “unpleasant for the mind” (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 242). Neem is an important herb in fever, used in simple formulations such as a soup prepared with Patola (Trichosanthes dioica) (Sharma 2002, 6). It is also used in more complex formulations such as Neemdi kvatha, used in the treatment of masurika, or chicken pox, comprised of equal parts Neem, Haritaki, Katuka, Vasaka, Ushira, Amalaki, Chandana, Parpata (Fumaria indica), Duralabha (Fagonia cretica), Patola (Trichosanthes dioica), and Raktachandana (Pterocarpus santalinus) (Sharma 2002, 469). In the treatment of jaundice the Chakradatta recommends a buffalo milk decoction of Neem, Haridra, Pippali, Bala and Madhuka (Glycyrrrhiza glabra) (Sharma 2002, 120). In the treatment of acid reflux and vomiting associated with gastritis, as well as colic and fever, the Chakradatta recommends a decoction of Neem, Guduchi, Triphala and Patola (Trichosanthes dioica), taken cool with honey (Sharma 2002, 168, 265). In the treatment of unmada (psychosis) Neem leaves are reduced to a powder with Vacha, Hingu, Sarshapa (Brassica campestris seed) and the discarded skin of a snake, and burned as an incense (Sharma 2002, 190). In the treatment of gout and eczema Neem is mixed with equal parts Triphala, Manjishta, Vacha, Katuka, Guduchi and Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), taken as a churna or kvatha (Sharma 2002, 236). In combination with Punarnava, Katuka, Guduchi, Devadaru, Haritaki, Patola (Trichosanthes dioica), and Shunthi (Zingiber officinalis), Neem is stated to be an effective treatment for intestinal parasites associated with anemia and dyspnea (Sharma 2002, 347). Mixed with Haridra, Neem has been shown to be an effective remedy in the treatment of scabies, and similar formulations can be used in udvartana abhyanga in the treatment of obesity and edema. Neem is also used in premature aging and grayness associated with anger and physical strain, used as a simple medicated taila in nasya therapy for a period of one month (Sharma 2002, 490). Neem flowers are traditionally used in Tamil cookery, stir-fried with pepper, mustard seed, and Hingu in ghee, after which water, tamarind paste, curry leaves and salt are added, as the base of a spicy, flavourable dipanapachana soup. Neem has recently undergone much investigation for its insecticidal properties against disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes and common agricultural pests such as flies, beetles, worms, cockroaches and moths, but appears to cause little harm to beneficial insects such as wasps, butterflies, bees, spiders and earthworms (Vietmeyer 1992, 39-59). Organic farmers can thus take advantage of Neem’s insecticidal properties to good advantage, and people can apply the diluted oil (2%) to ward off mosquitos, without fear of harm. Some studies suggest that Neem may act as a contraceptive, but this application is still in the experimental stage.


• Churna: bark, leaf, 1-2 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Svarasa: leaf, 6-12 mL b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Hima: leaf, 30-90 mL bi.d.-t.i.d. • Kvatha: bark, 30-60 mL • Seed oil: topically only, 2-50% v/v in a carrier oil

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NEEM LEAF & OIL (Azadirachta indica)

Latin: Azadirachta indica Sanskrit: Nimba

WHAT IT DOES: Neem leaf is bitter in taste and cold in action. It reduces fever and inflammation, reduces itching, and kills microbes and fungus. Neem oil is used externally to heal wounds and boils.


SAFETY ISSUES: Do not use internally for longer than three weeks unless under professional guidance due to dampening effect on digestive, sexual and reproductive functions. External use is safe in all cases.

STARTING DOSAGE: • Dried powder: one to two grams two times per day • 1:5 tincture: 10-20 drops two times per day • Concentrated powder extract: 150-250 mg two to three times per day

The neem tree is a native Indian evergreen that grows up to 70 ft high. It is so esteemed that a foundation was formed dedicated solely to neem. ( Ayurvedic doctors use neem leaves for skin diseases, itching, and fever, especially malarial fever. They also use it internally and externally for all forms of fungal and other infections. We use concentrated neem leaves at our clinic to treat skin diseases with severe itching (neem oil), and intestinal problems related to candidiasis or other fungal infections. We often combine neem in formulas with other anti-fungal plants, and tell patients to restrict sugar intake and take acidophilus capsules. This helps kill the “bad guy” intestinal bacteria, restricts their favorite fuel (sugar), and adds “good guy” acidophilus back into the intestine. A few weeks on this sort of anti-fungal program can work wonders with these types of infections, even is persistant cases. Neem oil is used in India in numerous varieties of hair lotion, medicated soap and toothpaste. It is considered to be effective as a topical treatment for chronic skin conditions, ulcers and leprosy. The warm oil is also useful when applied to treat ear infections (Chadha et al., 1985). Traditionally used to treat malaria, neem is a very bitter and potent plant, so it should be used only when other methods have failed.

Research Highlights

• Oral administration of dry neem leaf for 24 days resulted in a reduction in the weight of the seminal vesicles and prostate of albino rats, showing an anti-androgen effect (Kasutri et al., 1997). However, it is important to note that the dosage—20-60 mg per day—was much higher than the recommended human dose. A review of the toxicity data by the Pharmacognosy department at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands concluded, “reported toxicity of preparations and isolated compounds are low, except for the seed oil” (Van der Nat et al., 1991).

• Test tube studies of neem seed extract on the human malaria parasite showed strong inhibitory effect by way of a different mechanism of action than other anti-malaria drugs. Neem seed is active not only against the parasite stages that cause the initial clinical infection but also against the stages responsible for malaria transmission (Dhar et al., 1998).

• When applied to the skin, solutions of 1-4% neem oil in 96-99% coconut oil afforded 81-91% protection against mosquito bites for 12 hours (Mishra et al., 1995, Sharma et al., 1993).

• When applied with urea to rice crops, lipid neem extracts slowed mosquito breeding, reduced incidence of Japanese encephalitis, and significantly increased grain yield in a cost-effective manner (Rao et al., 1995).

• In a study of 814 people with scabies, topical application of a skin paste made of neem leaves (4 parts) and turmeric root (1 part) cured 97% of the cases within three to 15 days of treatment (Charles & Charles, 1992).

• The insecticide activity of neem extracts seems to come from its ability to reduce appetite and disrupt growth in certain insects, including mosquitoes (Ley, 1990).

• Application of neem oil appears to induce a strong blockage of fertility. In a controlled study of fertile female Wistar rats, a single intrauterine injection dose of neem oil caused a 100% infertility rate for periods of 100 to 180 days, while all the control animals became pregnant. Within five months, more than 50% of the test females regained fertility. There was no visible effect on ovarian function (Upadhyay et al., 1990). • In a related study, the researchers discovered that neem oil acts as an alternative to vasectomy. As with females, a single-dose injection of neem oil in male rats caused infertility for 8 months, blocking sperm production without affecting testosterone (there did appear to be a reduction in testicular size). The effects may be due to a local immune response against the sperm (Upadhyay et al., 1993).

• In an unrelated study, oral administration of neem extract for 10 weeks caused a significant decrease in total testosterone in male rats. There were no cytotoxic effects (Parshad et al., 1994).

• The anti-fertility effect of neem oil was also reported in rhesus monkeys (Bardhan et al., 1991).

• Oral administration of neem seed extract (Praneem) caused abortion early on in the pregnant female baboons and bonnet monkeys. The treatment was tolerated well, and tests of blood chemistry and liver function were normal. The primates regained fertility subsequent to treatment (Mukherjee et al., 1996).

• As a result of the aforementioned effects, researchers investigated neem oil for hormonal properties. They found that it had no estrogenic, anti-estrogenic or progesterone-related activity. They concluded that since the post-coital contraceptive effect of neem oil seems to be non-hormonal, it is less likely to elicit side effects than the steroidal contraceptives (Prakesh et al., 1988).

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Neem Tincture

Use for Cleansing inside and out Description The Neem tree is sacred in India because of its life-protecting properties. It is a powerful cleansing herb renowned for its ability to purify both the inside and outside of the body. It is an extremely bitter herb with powerful detoxifying properties. Its green leaves are full of cleansing chlorophyll and it acts as an invaluable skin and blood cleanser. It is very effective for normalising gut bacteria and reducing any imbalances that can cause bloating, discomfort and skin outbreaks.


Myths abound concerning the healing properties of Neem; its curative nature is said to have begun when a drop of nectar (amrita) fell on to it from the cup of immortality. Its bitter principle indicates its use in inflammations of the skin and digestive tract.

Common Name

Neem (E), Nim (H), Margosa (E)

Latin Name

Azadirachta indica – Folium, Semen, Cortex, Resin (Meliaceae)



Bio-medical Action Alterative, anti-pruritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, antiseptic/bacterial/fungal/protozoal/malarial, anthelmintic, bitter tonic, antacid, hypoglycaemic Dosage 0.5–5g/day or 3–15ml/day of a 1:3 @ 25% tincture. Notes • Neem thrives as a large tree in well-drained soil all over India at up to 1000m. It is a tender tree not surviving in temperate climates where there is excessive rainfall. • Often confused with Melia azadirachta (this is known as Mahanimba in Ayurveda). This is a tree with very similar properties that can survive in hardier climates. • Used in the famous panchtiktagrita, a medicated ghee incorporating five bitter herbs used for inflammation in the skin, muscles and deeper tissues. • Also a very infective insecticide/fungicide in the garden; spray an infusion on the plant for excellent organic results. • It is a very strong herb. As with all very bitter and concentrated flavours it should only be used short term at high doses. Use for up to a month maximum. However, if used at a low dose the it can be used for longer. Contraindications High vata, wasting and debility. Any condition with cold signs. Considered to be bad for the heart and unpleasant for the mind by the Bhavaprakasha.

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| name = Neem
| image = Neem (Azadirachta indica) in Hyderabad W IMG_6976.jpg
| image_width =250px
| image_caption = //Azadirachta indica//, flowers & leaves
| regnum = [[Plantae]]
| divisio = [[Flowering plant|Magnoliophyta]]
| ordo = [[Sapindales]]
| familia = [[Meliaceae]]
| genus = //[[Azadirachta]]//
| species = **//A. indica**//
| binomial = //Azadirachta indica//
| binomial_authority  ======
| synonyms = //Antelaea azadirachta// (L.) Adelb.
}} **//Azadirachta indica**// (**Neem**) is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus **//Azadirachta**//, and is native to Subcontinent, growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Other vernacular names include Neem (Hindi, Nepali, Urdu), Nim 1), Nimm (Punjabi), Arya Veppu (Malayalam), Azad Dirakht (Persian), Nimba (Sanskrit, Oriya), Limdo (Gujarati language) Kadu-Limba (Marathi), Dongoyaro (in some Nigerian languages), Margosa, Neeb (Arabic), Nimtree, Vepu, Vempu, Vepa (Telugu), Bevu (Kannada),//Kodu nimb// (Konkani), Kohomba (Sinhala), Vembu (Tamil), Tamar (Burmese), sầu đâu, xoan Ấn Độ (Vietnamese), สะเดา (Sadaw, Thai), אזדרכת (Hebrew), Paraiso (Spanish), and Indian Lilac (English). In East Africa it is also known as //Muarubaini// (Swahili), which means //the tree of the 40//, as it is said to treat 40 different diseases, and in Somalia it is known as “Geed Hindi” which means “the Indian tree”.

Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 15–20 m (about 50–65 feet), rarely to 35–40 m (115–131 feet). It is evergreen, but in severe drought it may shed most or nearly all of its leaves. The branches are wide spread. The fairly dense crown is roundish or oval and may reach the diameter of 15–20 m in old, free-standing specimens.


The opposite, pinnate leaves are 20–40 cm (8 to 16 in.) long, with 20 to 31 medium to dark green leaflets about 3–8 cm (1 to 3 in.) long. The terminal leaflet is often missing. The petioles are short.


The (white and fragrant) flowers are arranged axillary, normally in more-or-less drooping panicles which are up to 25 cm (10 in.) long. The inflorescences, which branch up to the third degree, bear from 150 to 250 flowers. An individual flower is 5–6 mm long and 8–11 mm wide. Protandrous, bisexual flowers and male flowers exist on the same individual.


The fruit is a smooth (glabrous) olive-like drupe which varies in shape from elongate oval to nearly roundish, and when ripe are 1.4-2.8 x 1.0-1.5 cm. The fruit skin (exocarp) is thin and the bitter-sweet pulp (mesocarp) is yellowish-white and very fibrous. The mesocarp is 0.3-0.5 cm thick. The white, hard inner shell (endocarp) of the fruit encloses one, rarely two or three, elongated seeds (kernels) having a brown seed coat.

The neem tree is very similar in appearance to the Chinaberry (Melia azedarach), all parts of which are extremely **poisonous** to mammals, while birds are known to gorge themselves on the berries, the seeds passing harmlessly through their unique digestive systems.


The neem tree is noted for its resistance. Normally it thrives in areas with sub-arid to sub-humid conditions, with an annual rainfall between 400 and 1200 mm. It can grow in regions with an annual rainfall below 400 mm, but in such cases it depends largely on ground water levels. Neem can grow in many different types of soil, but it thrives best on well drained deep and sandy soils. It is a typical tropical to subtropical tree and exists at annual mean temperatures between 21-32 °C. It can tolerate high to very high temperatures and does not tolerate temperature below 4 °C . Neem is a life-giving tree, especially for the dry coastal, southern districts of India. It is one of the very few shade-giving trees that thrive in the drought-prone areas. The trees are not at all delicate about the water quality and thrive on the merest trickle of water, whatever the quality. In India it is very common to see neem trees used for shade lining the streets or in most people's back yards. In very dry areas the trees are planted in large tracts of land.

Weed status

Neem is considered a weed in many areas, including some parts of the East, and most of Sub-Saharan Africa including Africa where in Senegal it has been used as a malarial drug and Tanzania and other Ocean states where in Kiswahili it is known as 'the panacea', literally 'the tree that cures forty diseases', where ayurvedic uses are practiced.

Ecologically, it survives well in similar environments to its own, for example replacing the babul acacia tree from India with African acacia species.

Chemical compounds

Indian scientists were the first to bring the plant to the attention of phytopharmacologists.

In 1942, while working at the Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory at University, India, three bitter compounds were extracted from neem oil, which were named **//nimbin**//, **//nimbinin**//, and **//nimbidin**// .<ref name=“ganguli”>Ganguli, S. (2002). "Neem: A therapeutic for all seasons". //Current Science//. 82(11), June. p. 1304.</ref> The seeds contain a complex secondary metabolite azadirachtin.


In India, the tree is variously known as “Sacred Tree,” “Heal All,” “Nature's Drugstore,” “Village Pharmacy” and “Panacea for all diseases.” Products made from neem tree have been used in India for over two millennia for their medicinal properties: Neem products have been observed to be anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive and sedative. Neem products are also used in selectively controlling pests in plants. It is considered a major component in Ayurvedic and medicine and is particularly prescribed for skin disease.<ref>S. Zillur Rahman and M. Shamim Jairajpuri. Neem in Unani Medicine. Neem Research and Development Society of Pesticide Science, India, New Delhi, Feb 1993, p. 208-219. Edited by N.S. Randhawa and B.S. Parmar. 2nd revised edition (chapter 21), 1996</ref>

 * All parts of the tree are said to have medicinal properties (seeds, leaves, flowers and bark) and are used for preparing many different medical preparations.
 * Part of the Neem tree can be used as a [[spermicide]]
 * [[Neem|oil]] is used for preparing cosmetics (soap, neem shampoo - Sunsan herbal, balms and creams, for example [[Margo (soap)|Margo soap]]), and is useful for skin care such as [[Acne vulgaris|acne]] treatment, and keeping skin elasticity.  Neem oil has been found to be an effective mosquito repellent.
 * Neem derivatives neutralise nearly 500 pests worldwide, including insects, mites, ticks, and nematodes, by affecting their behaviour and physiology. Neem does not normally kill pests right away, rather it repels them and affects their growth. As neem products are cheap and non-toxic to higher animals and most beneficial insects, they are well-suited for pest control in rural areas.
 * Besides its use in traditional Indian medicine, the neem tree is of great importance for its anti-desertification properties and possibly as a good carbon dioxide sink.
 * Practitioners of traditional Indian medicine recommend that patients suffering from chicken pox sleep on neem leaves.
 * Neem gum is used as a bulking agent and for the preparation of special purpose food (for diabetics).
 * Aqueous extracts of neem leaves have demonstrated significant antidiabetic potential.
 * Traditionally, slender neem branches have been chewed in order to clean one's teeth. Neem twigs are still collected and sold in markets for this use, and in India one often sees youngsters in the streets chewing on neem twigs.
 * A decoction prepared from neem roots is ingested to relieve [[fever]] in traditional Indian medicine.
 * Neem leaf paste is applied to the skin to treat [[Acne vulgaris|acne]], and in a similar vein is used for [[measles]] and [[chicken|pox]] sufferers.
 * Neem blossoms are used in [[Andhra|Pradesh]], [[Tamil|Nadu]] and [[Karnataka]] to prepare [[Ugadi#Observance in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka|Ugadi pachhadi]]. "Bevina hoovina gojju" (a type of curry prepared with neem blossoms) is common in Karnataka throughout the year.  Dried blossoms are used when fresh blossoms are not available. In Tamilnadu, a [[rasam]] (veppam poo rasam) made with neem blossoms is a culinary speciality.
 * A mixture of neem flowers and bella (jaggery or unrefined brown sugar) is prepared and offered to friends and relatives, symbolic of sweet and bitter events in the upcoming new year.

Extract of neem leaves is thought to be helpful as malaria prophylaxis despite the fact that no comprehensive clinical studies are yet available. In several cases, private initiatives in Senegal were successful in preventing malaria.<ref>Al Jazeera report on neem tree treatment in Senegal</ref> However, major NGOs such as USAID are not supposed to use neem tree extracts unless the medical benefit has been proved with clinical studies.

Uses in pest and disease control

Neem is a key ingredient in Non-Pesticidal Management (NPM), providing a natural alternative to chemical pesticides. Neem seeds are ground into a powder that is soaked overnight in water and sprayed onto the crop. To be effective, it is necessary to spray at least every ten days. Neem does not directly kill insects on the crop. It acts as a repellent, protecting the crop from damage. The insects starve and die within a few days. Neem also suppresses the hatching of pest insects from their eggs. Neem is not only much less expensive than chemical insecticides, it also has the advantage of not killing predatory insects that provide natural control of pest insects. Neem leaves can be used to protect stored grain from damage due to insect such as weevils, and neem cake can be applied to the soil. Neem cake kills pest insects in the soil while serving as an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen.<ref>MATERIAL FACT SHEETS – NEEM</ref>

Neem is deemed very effective in the treatment of scabies, although only preliminary scientific proof, which still has to be corroborated, exists,

and is recommended for those who are sensitive to permethrin, a known insecticide which might be an irritant. Also, the scabies mite has yet to become resistant to neem, so in persistent cases neem has been shown to be very effective. There is also anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness in treating infestations of head lice in human. The oil is also used in sprays against fleas for cats and dogs.

As a vegetable

The tender shoots and flowers of the neem tree are eaten as a vegetable in India. Neem flowers are very popular for their use in Ugadi Pachhadi (soup-like pickle), which is made on Ugadi day in the South Indian States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. A souplike dish called //Veppampoo Rasam// (Tamil) (translated as “neem flower rasam”) made of the flower of neem is prepared in Nadu. In Bengal, young neem leaves are fried in oil with tiny pieces of eggplant (brinjal). The dish is called //nim begun// and is the first item during a Bengali meal that acts as an appetizer. It is eaten with rice.

Neem is also used in parts of mainland Asia, particularly in Cambodia, Laos (where it is called //kadao//), Thailand (where it is known as //sadao// or //sdao//), Myanmar (where it is known as //tamar//) and Vietnam (where it is known as //sầu đâu// and is used to cook the salad: //gỏi sầu đâu//). Even lightly cooked, the flavour is quite bitter and thus the food is not enjoyed by all inhabitants of these nations, though it is believed to be good for one's health. Neem Gum is a rich source of protein. In Myanmar, young neem leaves and flower buds are boiled with tamarind fruit to soften its bitterness and eaten as a vegetable. Pickled neem leaves are also eaten with tomato and fish paste sauce in Myanmar.

Association with Hindu festivals in India

temple festival in nadu.]] Neem leaf or bark is considered an effective pitta pacifier due to its bitter taste. Hence, it is traditionally recommended during early summer in Ayurveda (that is, the month of Chaitra as per the Calendar which usually falls in the month of March - April), and during Padva, which is the New Year in the state of Maharashtra, the ancient practice of drinking a small quantity of neem juice or paste on that day, before starting festivities, is found. As in many Hindu festivals and their association with some food to avoid negative side-effects of the season or change of seasons, neem juice is associated with Gudi Padva to remind people to use it during that particular month or season to pacify summer pitta. In Tamilnadu during the summer months of April to June, the Mariamman temple festival is a thousand year old tradition. The Neem leaves and flowers are the most important part of the Mariamman festival. The goddess Mariamman statue will be garlanded with Neem leaves and flowers. During most occasions of celebrations and weddings the people of Tamilnadu adorn their surroundings with the Neem leaves and flowers as a form of decoration and also to ward off evil spirits and infections.

 * In the eastern coastal state of [[Orissa]] the famous [[Jagannath]] temple idols are made up of Neem heart wood along with some other essential oils and powders.

Patent Controversy

In 1995, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent on an anti-fungal product, derived from neem, to the Department of Agriculture and multinational R. Grace and Company.<ref name='N000123'/> The Indian government challenged the patent when it was granted, claiming that the process for which the patent had been granted had actually been in use in India for over 2,000 years. In 2000, the EPO ruled in India's favour but the US multinational mounted an appeal claiming that prior art about the product had never been published in a scientific journal. On 8 March 2005, that appeal was lost and the EPO revoked the Neem patent rights keeping the tree free of these patent restrictions.<ref name='N000123'>


<gallery> File:Squrel on neem tree.jpg|Squirrel live on Neem tree India. File:Neem (Azadirachta indica) in Hyderabad W IMG 7006.jpg|Flowers in India. File:Neem (Azadirachta indica) trunk in Kolkata W IMG 6190.jpg|Trunk Image:Animal Section in a rural Punjabi home.JPG|Animals under a Neem tree in a rural Punjabi home Image:GntNeemFlowers.jpg|Neem flowers in closeup Image:GntNeemTree.jpg|A Neem tree with Spring blossoms at Guntur, India File:Neem (Azadirachta indica) in Hyderabad W IMG 6977.jpg|Flowers in India. File:Neem (Azadirachta indica) in Hyderabad W2 IMG 7006.jpg|Flowers in India. </gallery>

See also

 * [[Neem|cake]]
 * [[Neem|oil]]
 * [[Azadirachtin]]


 * [[|Neem Foundation]]
 * [[|Neem Benefits]]
 * [[|Invasiveness information from Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)]]
 * [[|Neem information from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)]]
 * [[|A non-commercial site that gives a rounded view of neem including home uses, the invasiveness dangers & how to cope in Australia etc]]
 * {{cite book |last=Caldecott |first=Todd |year=2006 |title=Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life |publisher=Elsevier/Mosby |isbn=0723434107 }} Contains a detailed monograph on //Azadirachta indica// (Neem; Nimba) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at

plants words and phrases plant species Meliaceae ingredients medicaments

Beuëng (نبات) নিম Nim Nimu Niembaum indica Nimo چریش Margousier લીમડો नीम indica הודית ಬೇವು Mwarobaini (быдмӧг) Nim (пушӓнгӹ) ആര്യവേപ്പ് कडुलिंब Mambu indica インドセンダン Neem (быдмас) indyjska Neem (дерево) Neem Hindi Neem வேம்பு వేప สะเดา Nimi (будос) (дерево) نیم đâu zh:印度苦楝樹 - This page was last modified on 11 August 2011 at 19:37.

azadirachta_indica.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)