The Parts of the Neem Tree
- Neem has many agricultural and medical uses.neem image by fotomagic from Fotolia.com
Duke University graduate student Kelli Mineard assessed studies of the neem tree and concluded that it is a promising resource for agriculture and medicine. All the neem tree's parts---bark, wood, leaves, flower, fruit, seed kernel, seed oil and extracts---may confer benefits. Neem tree parts act as natural pesticides and can improve soil quality. They have anticancer effects and can help prevent malaria, as well as being useful in many other ways.
Neem Tree Leaves
- Some chew neem leaves for dental health and diabetes prevention.green leaves image by OMKAR A.V from Fotolia.com
Some people chew neem tree leaves to prevent diabetes and hypertension, according to Hasan, and juices of the neem tree are used to reduce inflammation. Ash of dried neem leaves is used to expel urinary stones. Neem leaves are used to improve soil nutrient content and can make soil less acidic.
Neem leaves are used in curries and dried leaves are used to repel insects in the home. Poultices of neem tree leaves are used to heal wounds, according to website Top Tropicals, and neem leaves are used to help digestion, stimulate the liver, treat lung conditions and reduce blood glucose levels. Neem leaves are thought to be good for the eyes, ears and blood. Juice of neem leaves is also used in snake-bite remedies, according to Himanshu Gupta of website Pharmainfo.
Neem leaf extracts show promise as antiviral and antimalarial treatments, writes Gupta, as well as having antifungal and anticancer properties.
Neem Bark and Wood
- Neem wood resembles mahogany and is termite-resistant.Mahogany Bridge image by Ray Kasprzak from Fotolia.com
Millions of Indians use neem twigs as antiseptic toothbrushes, reports Sara Hasan of American University. Neem trees are often planted as shade trees, writes Mineard. Neem tree wood is naturally termite-resistant and is used for firewood and for making charcoal, according to agricultural organization HDRA.
Neem wood is hard and heavy and is a valuable timber. Bark and twig extracts are used to treat fever, malaria and vomiting, according to Top Tropicals. Neem tree bark is used to treat anorexia, diarrhea, jaundice and worms.
Neem bark is used to treat cough and ulcers, reports Gupta and is also used as an anti-inflammatory and as treatment for asthma, hemorrhoids and tumors.
Neem Tree Oil and Seeds
- Neem extract is used to make antiseptic soaps and toothpastes.brush with toothpaste image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com
Neem tree oil is extracted from the seeds within its fruit, as well as from all other neem tree parts. This oil is used to make antiseptic soaps and toothpastes; it can be used as a spermicide and lamp fuel. Hasan writes that neem cake, the seed residue left over after oil extraction, is used to improve soil quality and is fed to livestock.
Neem seed oil is used to treat leprosy and other skin conditions. It is a treatment for rheumatism and an antiseptic. Neem oil can be used to treat ringworm and scabies, reports Gupta, and can control malarial fever. Neem seed extracts may prove effective against fungal infections and as a contraceptive. Neem seed oil can combat antibiotic-resistant salmonella, staphylococcus and E. coli. Neem oil extracts are used as antibacterials in fabrics.
Neem Tree Flowers and Fruit
- Neem fruit resembles an olive and its insecticidal compound isn't harmful to humans.olive verdi image by Marco from Fotolia.com
Neem flowers are bitter stimulants, according to Gupta. They are used to treat stomachache, decreased muscle tone in intestinal walls and parasitical infections.
Neem fruit is purple or yellow and resembles an olive. Neem fruit is used as a purgative and its oil is a leprosy treatment. Neem fruit is used to treat coughs, eye disease, hemorrhoids, urinary problems and toothaches. It also has anti-parasitical qualities, reports Gupta.
One of the most important qualities of neem fruit is that it contains a natural pesticide that is not poisonous to bats, birds, ladybugs, spiders or humans reports Batplants.co. uk.
- Neem is an important natural pesticide.crops in rows image by david hughes from Fotolia.com
All neem tree parts contain azadirachtin, but this compound is concentrated in the fruit and seeds of the neem tree. Azadirachtin slowly disables plant-eating creatures and is less likely to contribute to insecticide resistance than commonly used insecticides. Azadiractin doesn't kill bats that eat the fruit, so neem trees can double insecticidal protection of crops, as bats eat common pests.
Some people use neem leaves in their grain storage containers to repel pests or dry neem leaves, crush them into powder, and mix the powder directly with grain or combine it with clay to line storage containers.
Dried neem seeds are added to storage containers, or the seeds are ground and mixed with clay or sawdust. This is sprinkled over plants to protect them from insects, reports HDRA. The oil from pressed seeds can be mixed with stored beans and legumes. The leftover hulls can deter nematodes in agricultural soil. Crushed seeds mixed with water can be sprayed onto vegetables and some plants will take this water up into their parts.