Neem or azadirachta indica is the name of a tree which is native to South East Asia. Neem leaves have especially shown to produce therapeutic and medicinal values although other parts of the neem tree are also beneficial. Studies found that azadirachta indica has anti septic, anti inflammatory, anti viral, anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. This herbal plant provides a cleansing, soothing and calming effect.
Neem has the ability to promote skin health and is used in the treatment of skin problems such acne, eczema, psoriasis vulgaris, scabies and warts. The leaf which is called daun semambu among Malaysian Malays is traditionally used as a home remedy to treat chicken pox. The leaves are blended or pounded, made into a paste and applied on the skin.
Another way to use neem is to boil the leaves and use the water to bathe or use it to wash skin infections including burns. A more effective method is to add turmeric to it.
The neem leaves are also used traditionally to treat swelling joint pains by applying the paste on the affected areas. Among its uses include treating pains such as gout, lower back pain and rheumatoid arthritis. You can also use neem oil which is an extract from the neem tree nuts or kernel and leaves in treating your conditions and diseases.
Neem tree extract is also used to prevent and treat gonorrhea and syphilis. It is also used to ease itching caused by vaginal yeast infection and to heal and treat the problem.
Neem is known to boost the immune system. Drinkin neem tea may help cure the common cold and cough when taken when the symptoms show up. Drinking neem tea regularly may also treat intestinal worms.
Another part of the neem tree that is useful is the twig. In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, neem twigs are still used as a tooth brush by some people.
Neem leaves can also be eaten raw and may help treat diabetes when eaten on an empty stomach. It is found to be able to decrease blood sugar level.
A chemical compound present in neem tree called azadirachtin is found to be a good insect repellent and pest control. This chemical is able to stop the insects from breeding and going through the metamorphosis process. It is especially useful to hinder from mosquitoes by either applying the extract on the skin or spraying it.
Neem is also used to treat head lice, gum disease, dandruff and toothache. To treat head lice, apply neem juice or oil on the scalp. As a remedy for toothache, mouth ulcer or gum infection, apply the extract on the affected area.
Neem extract is also available in creams such as acne balm, dental products such as toothpaste and mouth wash, skin care products such as soaps and hair care products such as neem shampoo. Neem capsules are available as a health supplement. Dried neem leaves and powdered form are also available if you want to buy them.