Thursday, December 4, 2008

Azadirachta indica A. Juss.

Family : Meliaceae

Synonym(s) : Melia azadirachta Linn.

English Name : Margosa margosa, Neem, Nim

Origin : India


A large, evergreen tree, with long, spreading branches forming a broad crown. The bark is grey and rough; the leaves are alternate, the leaflets 8-19, glossy and bluntly serrate; the flowers are white or pale-yellow, small, scented, numerous and found in long, axillary panicles; the drupes are yellow on ripening, aromatic, oblong and smooth, with a single ex-albuminous seed.


Grows in the plains and in areas up to an elevation of 1850 m. In its introduced range, Neem is cultivated from sea level to an altitude of 1500 m. Neem is tolerant to most soil types including dry, stony, shallow soils, lateritic crusts, highly leached sands and clays.

Parts Used : Seeds, barks, leaves, powder, flowers, fruits, oil and gum

Herb Effects

Astringent, tonic, alterative, purgative, emollient, anthelmintic, antiperiodic, anti-diabetic, antibacterial and antiviral.

Active Ingredients

Beta-sitosterol, kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin (flower); gedunin, nimbidin (seed); hyperoside, quercitrin, rutin (leaf); linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (fruit); nimbin, nimbinin, tannin (stem bark); scopoletin (plant).

Medicinal Use

To treat skin diseases, rheumatism, stomach worms, gastric ulcers, urinary discharges, tumours, piles, toothache, arthritis, leprosy and sprains; used in Ayurveda practice to relieve cough, asthma, piles, tumours and urinary discharges.


Powder: 200 mg 3 times daily or use in Ghee.
Infusion: 2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
Tincture: 2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
Leaf juice: 10 to 20 ml (2 to 4 teaspoons) per day.
Leaf extract gel or toothpaste: 1 gram (1/5 of a teaspoon) in the morning and at bedtime brushed all over the mouth, has been used effectively for dental plaque.
Creams containing 5% or more of neem oil or neem extracts are typically applied at least twice per day for skin or vaginal infections.


Avoided in pregnancy.


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