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Importance of Neem


Posted Date: 06-Dec-2009  Last Updated:   Category: Education    
Author: Member Level: Gold    Points: 25






Neem is the versatile tree well known for its medicinal and pesticides properties. Neem has very well emerged as the solution to some of the major problems like locust attack, population growth, AIDS and environmental problems. Global efforts are on to explore all the potentials of neem products, various traditional and industrial applications of neem products.

Our relationship with neem is age – old and the tree has been known from time immemorial for its versatile applications.Using twigs as tooth – brush, taking bath in water heated with neem leaves as a preventive against heat rash and boils.Drinking neem water purifies blood and keeping dried leaves between folds of clothes protects them from insects and pests during storage . The earliest Sanskrit writing mention neem as ‘ arishata’ (sickness relaxer) and describe many of its medicinal properties. The tree has been held in great esteem by Indian folk because of its numerous medicinal and insecticidal potential. Centuries before when commercial insecticide and fertilizers were not available, neem derivatives were used in Indian villages to protect and nourish agricultural crops, the most notable fact is that almost all the traditional and folklore medicinal as well as insecticidal properties of neem have been confirmed by research.

Neem is an outstanding example of tree species highly efficient in restoring soil productivity and simultaneously providing fodder and it is used in product like medicine, lubricants, pesticide, mosquito repellant, fertilizer, diabetic food, soap, tooth paste, tooth brush stick. Almost every part of tree has its own significance. No other plant yields as many valuable and wide range of exploitable products and by – products.


The wood resembles teak in strength but is more resistant to shock. The wood, based on mechanical properties, has been recommended for general construction work, railway sleepers.


The neem tree provides good fuel wood. Charcoal made from neem wood is of excellent quality having caloric value .Neem oil is burned in lamps throughout India and the husk from the seeds containing no oil and representing the bulk of wastage in pesticide manufacture are mainly used as fuel.

The tree is mostly evergreen, except in dry localities where it becomes almost leafless for a short period. Neem foliage is considered as good fodder and constitutes a traditional feed in several parts of the country. It is very useful during drought an scarcity periods especially in arid areas when no other green fodder is available. The leaves are carminative and aid indigestion. They are also used as mulch and manure .In Andhra Pradesh leaves are regularly fed to cattle and goats to increase the secretion of milk immediately after parturition. When animals are given serial fodder there is possibility of negative nitrogen and mineral balances but feeding of neem leaves can help to alleviate this physical complication.

Industrial products:

Neem products are set to be extensively used in plant protection, as nitrogen fixes, in human and veterinary medicine and wide range of toiletries due to their bio degradable and non toxic qualities. Neem and kernels yield a dark brownish yellow, bitter, non drying oil having disagreeable odor commonly known as oil of margosa and is perhaps commercially most important. Several active chemical constituents have so far been isolated and characterized from different parts of neem. These compounds also exhibit a wide range of biological activity like biocidal, medicinal etc.

Neem in Soap industry:

Neem oil now used mostly by soap manufacturers because it is cheap. Crude oil used to produce coarse laundry soaps.

Cosmetics:

Neem is perceived in India as a beauty aid. Powdered leaves are the major components of a widely used facial cream. Purified off oil is also used in leather dressing, nail polish, hair lotions and other cosmetics.

Lubricants:

Neem oil is nondrying and it resists degradation better than most vegetable oils. It is commonly used to grease cast wheels in rural India.


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