The neem tree has innumerable medicinal benefits, and each and every part of it has a unique value. The twigs of neem branches are still used as toothbrushes in Indian villages, providing great results in dental health.
Nature has blessed us with immense natural resources, and we must make use of them. With neem's extraordinary medicinal properties, we should try to make maximum use of it and not completely discard such a natural way of treatment.
What Are the Medicinal Uses of Neem Leaves?
Neem leaves have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and are used to aid the following issues:
- Skin Problems: Acne, pimples, and hair problems can be treated with neem. The leaves can be made into a paste and added to face packs.
- Mosquitos: In India, dry neem leaves are burned to drive away mosquitoes. The smoke is effective in keeping the pests away, and it allows you to avoid the toxic effects of chemical bug repellants.
- Ticks and Lice: Neem leaves can be used in hair masks to remove vermin.
- Diabetes: In India, diabetic patients regularly consume neem leaves to lower their insulin level. They take a small bunch of tender leaves, grind it to a smooth paste without adding much water, and roll it in their hands to a size they can swallow with water as you would a tablet.
It is not only the leaves that have medical qualities—the bark, flowers, fruit, and every part of the neem tree have medicinal properties!
This article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice. Always take caution and consult your doctor before using new supplements or treatment methods. Do not consume neem while pregnant.
Neem in Indian Tradition
India is a very colorful country with a myriad of religions and customs. A unique feature of India is the worship of trees. The sanctity of the banyan tree, the peepal tree, and the neem tree are celebrated in temples. The tree trunks are smeared with turmeric, vermillion, and sandal powder. Sacred yellow threads adorn the trees and people piously worship them as a representation of God. Goddess Kali is believed to have blessed the neem tree (also known as the Wonder Tree) and so it is an integral part of worship among women.
How to Make Neem Flower Rasam
Neem flower rasam (veppam poo rasam) is a South Indian soup said to be excellent for intestinal worms. It helps your immune system, purifies blood, and effectively removes toxins from body—and it's very easy to make!
- 2 tbsp dried neem flowers
- 3–4 red chilies
- 1 tbsp toor dhal
- A pinch aesfoedita (hing) powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tamarind, the size of a gooseberry
- A small sprig curry leaves
- 1 tsp jaggery powder
- 1 tsp cooking oil, to fry the leaves
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish
- Extract the juice from the tamarind and keep aside.
- Cook toor dhal in a pressure cooker for ten minutes.
- Add the tamarind juice.
- Add turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the neem leaves to a golden brown. Take care not to burn them.
- Add mustard seeds, fenugreek, and red chilies. When the spluttering stops, add hing.
- Add curry leaves.
- Add the toor dhal mixture and keep it on the fire till the raw smell goes away.
- Add the fried neem leaves and jaggery powder.
- Do not make the rasam boil too much. Remove from the fire when the rasam begins to froth.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
DIY Neem Hair and Face Masks
Hair mask for dandruff and hair growth:
- Make a smooth paste of neem leaves.
- Fill a bowl with 1/2 cup of sour curd.
- Mix in the neem paste.
- Add the powder of dry hibiscus flowers.
- Blend well and apply to hair.
Hair mask to restore shine:
- Soak one tablespoon of fenugreek.
- Make a smooth paste and add 1 tbsp of neem paste.
- Mix it thoroughly and apply to hair.
Neem and bassan face mask:
- Make a smooth paste of a bunch of neem leaves.
- Add 1 tbsp of curd.
- Add 1 tbsp of besan powder.
- Apply over your face and allow to dry.
- Wash off.
Neem and multani mitti face mask:
- Make a paste of 1 tsp of multani mitti.
- Add 1 tsp neem paste and the juice of 1 lime.
- Blend well and apply all over your face and neck.
- Allow to dry.
- Wash off.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 mathira
Fiona from South Africa on July 09, 2020:
Do you think that Neem would mix well with Amla oil for the hair? I thought maybe I could crush the leaves, and heat them and the Amla oil together. Thank you.
Durgesh Singh on January 19, 2020:
Thank you for providing me the information of the neem tree
mathira (author) from chennai on September 08, 2013:
AliciaC, nature has given us so many rich benefits and neem tops it. Thank you for your visit.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 07, 2013:
I've been interested in the neem tree for some time. Thank you for sharing the interesting information about the plant as well as the recipes.
mathira (author) from chennai on September 06, 2013:
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 06, 2013:
Thank you for sharing the uses and benefits of the neem tree. Wasn't aware of its attachment to sanctity. We keep learning.