Azadirachta indica, often known as neem, nimtree, or Indian lilac, and known in Nigeria as dogoyaro or dogonyaro, is a mahogany tree in the Meliaceae family.
It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and most African countries, and is one of two species of the genus Azadirachta.
It grows best in tropical and semi-tropical climates. Neem trees can also be found on the islands off the coast of Iran. Neem oil is extracted from the plant's fruits and seeds.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANT
Neem trees can grow to be 15–30 metres tall (49–98 feet), with rounded crowns and thick furrowed bark. The serrated leaflets of the compound leaves are usually evergreen, but they do drop during periods of intense drought.
The bisexual or staminate (male) little fragrant white blooms are borne in bunches in the leaf axils. The fruit has a sweet-tasting flesh and is a smooth yellow-green drupe.
Neem is normally produced from seed, however cuttings or root suckers can also be used to propagate it. The plant is hardy and adaptable, and it thrives in rocky, poor soils.
Neem can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions, however it cannot withstand freezing temperatures or being wet.
COMMON USES OF NEEM TREE
Neem trees are cultivated and used for a variety of purposes. Almost every component of the neem tree is beneficial. Neem is considered a weed in many locations.
However it is also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to its antimicrobial resistance and other antifungal qualities.
Neem has a variety of other uses, including:
• Insect repellents made from neem oil and neem barks are utilised.
• Some toothpastes and mouthwashes contain neem as a key ingredient.
• Neem is widely found in dandruff shampoos, as well as soaps and lotions to cure skin allergies and infections.
• Young twigs are used directly as rudimentary toothbrushes in various parts of the country.
• Neem leaves have long been used as a traditional diabetes treatment, and there is some evidence that it may help manage blood sugar levels.
RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NEEM AS A MEDICIAL PLANT
Plaque: According to preliminary study, using neem leaf extract gel twice daily to the teeth and gums for six weeks may minimise plaque production. It may also help to lower the quantity of germs that form plaque in the mouth. Using a mouth rinse with neem extract for two weeks, on the other hand, does not appear to reduce plaque or gingivitis.
Repellent for insects: According to preliminary study, putting a neem root or leaf extract to the skin can help repel black flies. In addition, putting neem oil lotion to the skin appears to protect against certain mosquito species.
Ulcers: According to several studies, ingesting 30-60 mg of neem bark extract twice day for 10 weeks aids in the healing of stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Psoriasis: Early research suggests that consuming neem extract orally for 12 weeks, combined with regular sun exposure and the application of a coal tar and salicylic acid lotion, can help persons with psoriasis symptoms.
• Stomach ache.
• Breathing conditions.
• Head lice.
• Skin illnesses and disorders.
• Heart disease.
• Birth control (contraception).
• Other conditions.