Nimba

Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae)[edit]

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neem_(Azadirachta_indica)_in_Hyderabad_W_IMG_6976.jpg"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Neem_%28Azadirachta_indica%29_in_Hyderabad_W_IMG_6976.jpg" alt="Azadirachta indica" width="300" height="300" align="right" title="Azadirachta indica, flowers & leaves">

Azadirachta indica, flowers & leaves

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Sanskrit Names: Nimba English Name: Morgosa tree, Neem Hindu Name: Nima Botanical Name: Azadirachta indica Synonyms: Neem Family: Meliaceae

Description[edit]

Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 15–20 metres (49–66 ft), rarely to 35–40 metres (115–130 ft). It is evergreen, but in severe drought it may shed most or nearly all of its leaves. The branches are wide spread. The fairly dense crown is roundish or ovular and may reach the diameter of 15–20 metres (49–66 ft) in old, free-standing specimens.

Neem is known to provide multiple benefits. Neem is a plant which belongs mainly to the Indian sub continent. This tree is has a rich history and is being used for more than 4000 years now. Almost every part of neem including seed oil, fruit, leaves and branches are used for some purpose or the other. In other words, it can be said that neem is a mini dispensary. Its healing properties are widely acknowledged since ancient time. However, with advancement of technology the potential of neem has increased manifolds and now it is coming out in many forms including oils, shampoos, soap, medicines etc. 1

Seed is available from the fresh harvest only, as stored seed loses its viability in about 3 months. We receive ongoing shipments. If we do not have fresh seed in stock, we will automatically backorder your order and deliver from the new harvest. Please sow in a very warm place as soon as possible after receipt. Use fast-draining potting soil (Cactus mix) and water only once daily. Keep pot very warm (80 degrees F, bottom heat relished) and in the light. Germination is in 1 to 3 weeks. Once the seedlings germinate, keep warm, in the sun, and allow soil surface to dry out between waterings--overwatering neem, which grows best in drylands, is not a good idea. Plant prefers full sun to part shade, dry soils, and will withstand short periods of cold down to 23 degrees F (but it will lose its leaves and suffer, for all practical purposes, protect from frost!). Flowers bisexual--sweet scented, colored cream. Ah neem, the Swahilis call it "Muarubaini" which means "Tree that treats 40 diseases." Our seeds come from Zanzibar, where Swahili is the language of choice and Neem is the medicine of choice (and a native tree). The fresh bark is infused and drunk for treating malaria. The leaves are chewed for making the teeth strong, and for treating and preventing oral infection. The seeds are crushed and rubbed on scabies or other skin afflictions, to banish the buggers and leave the skin clear and feeling fine! Oh Neem, what illness or disease of man, woman or child is there for which you have no gift? There is none. And your shade, there in the tropical sun, is something I yearn for, and will return to you, should I get the chance, and lean my back against your strength. We must keep the fresh seeds coming, because they stay viable for only 3 short months. So do not hesitate when the seed arrives, but plant it, and keep neem close at hand and heart, as this plant has much for us humans! 2

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GntNeemTree.jpg"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1d/GntNeemTree.jpg" width="300" height="300" align="right" title="A Neem tree with blossoms at Bodwad, India">

A Neem tree with blossoms at Bodwad, India

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Principle Constituents[edit]

Classical Categories (Gana)[edit]

Caraka Ganas: Kandughna, Tikta Skandha
Susruta Ganas: Aragwadhadi, Guduchyadi, Lakshadi

Energetics[edit]

Rasa (taste): Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (quality): Laghu (light)
Virya (energy): Shita (cooling)
Vipaka (post digestive effect): Katu (pungent)
Prabhava (Special quality):
Dosha Effect: PK-
Dhatus (tissues): Rasa, Rakta, Meda, Shukra
Srotas (channels): Raktavaha, Annavaha,

Chemical Constituents[edit]

Bark: Nimbine, Margosine, Nimbidine, Nimbosterol, Volatile oil, Tannin.
Flowers: volatile oil, bitter substance.
Sap: bitter substance, glucose, colouring matter, gum and ash. Ash contains potassium, iron, calcium, iron, aluminium.
Seeds: Margossa oil.

Ayurveda Actions[edit]

Amapachana - digests ama
Balya - strengthening
Chakshushya - healthy for eyes
Dahaprasamana - decreases burning sensation
Deepana - appetizer
Grahi - holding
Jwarghna - anti pyretic
Kasahara - coughs and colds
Kandughna - anti itching
Krumighna - parasites
Kustaghna - skin conditions
Pramehaghna - anti diabetic
Raktashodaka - purifies the blood
Swasahara - asthma
Vatakara - avoid in excess vata conditions
Vedanastapana - removes pain
Vishaghna - anti-poison
Vranaropana - wound healing
Yukrittuttejaka - liver regulator

Important Actions[edit]

Mainly used for skin conditions. Neem leaves (or powder) mixed with jaggary (or honey) and water a good skin cleanser.

Indications[edit]

Peptic ulcers, hyperacidity, ulcerative cilitis, skin infections, hepatitis, intestinal worms, all acute and chronic skin conditions, coughs, asthma, respiratory infections, external and internal wounds, diabetes mellitus, urinary tract infections, conjunctivitis (flower juice)

External use[edit]

Leaves and bark antimicrobial, removes foul smell, reduces burning sensation and itching. Seed oil wound healing, antileprotic, analgesic, therefore used in abscesses, lymphadenitis, ulcers. In pruritis hot water bath with decoction of neem leaves given, Neem oil also applied as massage. Chronic T.B. lymphadentis and fistulae treated by wicks dipped in neem oil. In joint swelling and inflammatory arthritis, massage is useful. Application of ground seed is to control lice or other microbes on the scalp. Nimba tali nasya used in psoriasis and baldness. Neem leaves are rubbed all over to reduce burning. Poultice of leaves tied over abscesses.

Internal use[edit]

Digestive system: Leaves anthelminitc and stimulate liver function. Bark decoction with honey useful in jaundice, anorexia, vomiting, dysentry, intestinal worms, liver diseases. Ointment prepared from seeds applied to piles. Fruits useful in constipation.
Nervous System:
Respiratory system: Reduces kapha from the respiratory tract. Leaves useful in excessive mucous secretion. Bark decoction used in chronic cough.
Reproductive system: Uterine stimulant. Seed powder used in dysmenorrhoea and puerperium. Continuous use of leaves leads to decrease in the dhatus of the body, especially shukra. Juice of the leaves should be given immediately after delivery to postpartum women as it's a uterine tonic.
Skin: It is useful in all skin conditions especially in burning sensation.
Urinary system: Effective in kaphapittah prameha (diabetes)
Eyes: Tender leaves and flowers useful in many skin disorders.

Precautions[edit]

High Vāta, wasting and debility. Any condition with cold signs. Considered to be bad for the heart and unpleasant for the mind by the Bhāvaprakāśa

Safety[edit]

No drug-herb interactions known.

Parts Used[edit]

Parts used: Flowers, Leaves, Bark, Seed, Oil
Dosage: Bark powder 2-4gms. Leaf Juice 10-20ml. Oil 5-10 drops

Important Combinations[edit]

Preparations: Nimbadi Churna (all listed indications), Nimbarista (all listed indications), Nimba taila (external application in skin conditions). Arshoghna vati (piles) Pancha tikta ghrita (skin conditions and pitta disorders).