The medicinal benefits of Neem are spoken about in the
Veda's, the worlds oldest books. In India's ancient
Ayurvedic Medical texts the medicinal information about
Neem spoken about in the Vedas is expanded upon in great
detail. In Ayurvedic Medical texts it is explained that
every part of the Neem tree has health promoting
benefits. What is clear from the above information is
that the general population of India, for over 5000
years, has used Neem safely and effectively. Millions have smeared skin disorders with Neem leaf
juice and oil, cleaned their teeth with Neem twigs,
taken Neem tea as a tonic, and placed Neem leaves in the
beds, grain bins, cupboards and closets to keep away
In fact the people of India call the Neem Tree
"The Village Pharmacy".
Traditional use of Neem in Ayurvedic Medicine:
Historically Neem has been used to treat a wide range of
ailments, including wounds, burns, sprains, bruises,
earache, headache, fever, sore throat, food poisoning,
shingles, colds, flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, fungal
infections, yeast infections, sexually transmitted
diseases, acne, skin diseases, heart diseases,
blood disorders, kidney problems, digestive problems,
ulcers, periodontal diseases, nerve disorders, malaria,
fatigue, and a host of others. It is being closely
studied for use in battling AIDS, cancer, diabetes,
allergies, and as birth control for both men and women.
It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, and
strengthens the body's overall immune responses. See
the two examples below: arthritis and malaria.
Traditionally Ayurveda has recommended the use of Neem
leaf, seed, and bark, for reducing arthritic pain and
inflammation and for halting the progression of the
disease as well. In numerous clinical studies the
polysaccharides and other compounds of Neem leaf extract
have produced a reduction in the inflammation caused by
There are several reasons why the compounds in Neem work
so well. It appears that these compounds make a number
of adjustments to various mechanisms in the body, which
explains their anti-inflammatory effects. There is an
inhibition in the release of mediators of acute
inflammation, an antihistaminic effect, and a
modification in the functioning of the immune system
response. This last effect is extremely important.
Neem's ability to change the way the immune system
responds to arthritis, by reducing the generation of
inflammation producing chemicals, may also be the reason
why it halts the progress of the disease and why it may
hold the promise of an actual cure.
In the 1970's an incurable form of malaria developed
from mosquitoes that had become immune to the pesticides
and produced a strain of malarial parasite that was chloroquine resistant or immune to treatment. Neem was
proven by modern scientific clinical studies to be
effective against chloroquine sensitive and chloroquine
resistant strains of malaria. Neem is, as we discussed
earlier, a clinically proven anti-microbial. This means
it is effective against bacteria's, viruses, and
funguses as well as parasites.
One of the most impressive accomplishments of Neem
against parasites is its effectiveness against
encephalitis. In a paper delivered to the American
Chemical Society at its annual meeting in March 1993 R.O.
Larson describes how an outbreak of Japanese
encephalitis in India was eradicated. This was
accomplished by giving children two doses of crushed
Neem leaves daily.
In the 1920's a formal research was begun on neem trees
because it was noted that during periodic locust
plagues, while acres of foliage were stripped bare, neem
trees were left unscathed. Simply derived "tea"
solutions made from the neem seed were effective in
protecting foliage crops. Additionally, several
compounds were isolated from the seeds of neem. One of
these, azadirachtin, was found to both repel and disrupt
the growth and reproduction of many destructive insect
species. Unlike many synthetic insecticides, low doses
of azadirachtin were found to have little or no
mammalian toxicity. The range of insects affected by
neem extracts is impressive and includes beetles, flies,
mosquitoes, caterpillars, true bugs, locusts and
grasshoppers, aphids, weevils, moths, and roaches.
The Village Pharmacy, by Joseph M. Selvester,
Ayurvedic Practitioner & Master Herbalist, 1999
NEEM: The Miracle Herb for Skin Diseases, by Sheryll
Azadirachta Indica, by Mrs.
Vijayshree Khanorkar, 2007