The healing properties of neem are mainly due to some bitter substances, known as triterpenes (limonoids), with azadirachtin as one of the main active ingredients.
In addition, neem contains beta-sitosterol, tannins, polysaccharides, flavonoids and essential oil.
Neem in Ayurvedic or Indian Medicine
For centuries, the neem tree has played a big part in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian folk medicine and it is still one of the most commonly used medicinal plant in India as well as some other countries in East Asia.
In India, it is still considered to this day, as a “cure-all” or a “miracle herb” that can heal most ailments. In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, it is known as “nimba”, which derives from the phrase “nimbati swastyamdadati”, meaning “to give good health”.
The tree is also known in India as the “village pharmacy”, referring to its uses to treat a variety of ailments and diseases.
Neem is known to have antipyretic properties and it has been used traditionally for a long time to lower high fever.
It is used as a treatment for a high fever caused by malaria and often used in combination with black pepper (Piper nigrum) and gentian root (Gentiana lutea) in that regard.[adinserter block=”9″]
An extract obtained from the leaves or bark has both antibacterial and antiviral effect, with little or no toxicity.
The extract has been used internally as a treatment for asthma, sore throat, tuberculosis, eczema, jaundice, stomach ulcers, diabetes, arthritis, and rheumatism.
The bark is bitter and has astringent properties and a decoction made from it can be used as a remedy for hemorrhoids.
The herb has also been used to eliminate unwanted intestinal parasites, and as an anti-fungal agent for Candida.
In addition, it is sometimes used to treat hepatitis A and B, and “mono” or “the kissing disease” (mononucleosis), caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
Studies have shown that the neem oil does have anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties and that it, at least to some extent, can be used to reduce high fever and lower high blood sugar.
A volatile (unstable) portion of the oil has demonstrated, in laboratory experiments, a potent spermicidal activity and is now being studied as a possible contraceptive for men and women.
External Use of Neem
Neem is considered useful bacterial, viral and fungicidal agent mainly because of the presence of limonoids and the seed oil and extracts from the leaves are widely used as a treatment for a variety of skin related ailments.
The oil has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties which can make it helpful in the healing of wounds and other minor skin injuries and to ease muscle and joint pain.
A juice, or an extract from the leaves, can also be used externally on wounds, boils, rashes, acne, ringworm, chicken pox, herpes, eczema and psoriasis, and as eye drops it can be used to treat night blindness (Nyctalopia) and pink eye (conjunctivitis).
The branches can be chewed on to clean the teeth, strengthen the gums and prevent gum inflammation.
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