The NEEM tree is known by many names--- "Divine Tree," "Heal All," "Nature's Drugstore," "Village Pharmacy" and "Panacea for all diseases." Products made from neem have proven medicinal properties, being anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fertility, and sedative. It is considered a major component in Ayurvedic medicine and is particularly prescribed for skin disease. (source: Wikipedia)
- All parts of the tree (seeds, leaves, flowers and bark) are used for preparing many different medical preparations.
- Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics (soap, shampoo, balms and creams, for example Margo soap), and is useful for skin care such as acne treatment, and keeping skin elasticity. Neem oil has been found to be an effective mosquito repellent.
- Neem derivatives neutralise nearly 500 pests worldwide, including insects, mites, ticks, and nematodes, by affecting their behaviour and physiology. Neem does not normally kill pests right away, rather it repels them and affects their growth. As neem products are cheap and non-toxic to higher animals and most beneficial insects, it is well-suited for pest control in rural areas.
- Besides its use in traditional Indian medicine the neem tree is of great importance for its anti-desertification properties and possibly as a good carbon dioxide sink.
- Practitioners of traditional Indian medicine recommend that patients suffering from chicken pox sleep on neem leaves.
- Neem gum is used as a bulking agent and for the preparation of special purpose food (for diabetics).
- Aqueous extracts of neem leaves have demonstrated significant antidiabetic potential.
- Traditionally, teeth cleaning was conducted by the chewing of slender neem branches. Neem twigs are still collected and sold in markets for this use, and in India one often sees youngsters in the streets chewing on neem twigs.
- A decoction prepared from neem roots is ingested to relieve fever in traditional Indian medicine.
- Neem leaf paste is applied to the skin to treat acne.
- Neem blossoms are used in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to prepare Ugadi pachhadi. Actually, "bevina hoovina gojju" (a type of curry prepared with neem blossoms) is common in Karnataka throughout the year. Dried blossoms are used when fresh blossoms are not available.
- A mixture of neem flowers and bella (jaggery or unrefined brown sugar) is prepared and offered to friends and relatives, symbolic of sweet and bitter events in the upcoming new year.
Extract of neem leaves is thought to be helpful as malaria prophylaxis despite the fact that no comprehensive clinical studies are yet available. In several cases, private initiatives in Senegal were successful in preventing malaria . However, major NGOs such as USAID are not supposed to use neem tree extracts unless the medical benefit has been proved with clinical studies. (source: Wikipedia)
Here in the Philippines, I saw the products below, in GeoShop in Cubao Expo. It's not yet widely available, though--haven't seen it in major groceries/malls. I'll post once I get more info on the product's availability. Yes, it's Philippine-made, and as the back label says, the insect repellant product of theirs was awarded the Salon International Des Inventions Silver Award (Geneva, Switzerland).