Neem plant is a perennial plant (lives for many years) and grows into a big tree.
The plant has the scientific name as Azadirachta indica.
It has a bitter taste as one can feel on chewing its leaves. It is used in soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, face wash, etc. due to its anti-microbial property.
It is one of the useful plants from among the list of medicinal plants with varied benefits. The parts of the plants extensively used are leaves, seeds (oil) and the stem wood. Neem is propagated by its seeds falling on the ground and hence can be easily grown by using natural seeds.
Uses of neem plant
Neem is used in medicine, in agriculture and also in the home furniture.
Neem medicinal uses
Neem oil has anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-nematode and spermicide activities. Hence neem can be used for various infectious conditions on the skin including dandruff.
- Lies treatment: It is a good insect repellent; hence, neem oil can be used to apply on the scalp to get rid of lies on the head.
- Nematocide: It is also considered a nematocide and hence, neem cake can be used to kill nematode parasites in the gut of cattle.
- Spermicide: Its oil is found to be spermicide and hence can be used in contraceptive products to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
- Tooth Cleaner: You can find Neem toothpaste in use for those with gum problems. It is also recommended by dentists. Neem toothpaste is considered to prevent plaques and avoid bad breath. Neem branch twigs can be used to brush the teeth without the need for a brush. Due to its natural antimicrobial property, it is considered very effective. Hence it is constituent of many herbal tooth preparation like dant Kanti.
- In eye drops: Neem is also used in the preparation of Ayurveda eye drops like the Itone. This preparation helps to relieve eye strain and minor infections.
Neem uses in agriculture: Neem plants are one of the sources of natural pesticides. Besides being a huge plant with long lifespan has advantages like.
- As natural pesticide: The use as pesticide helps minimize pollution of air, water, soil due to synthetic pesticides which have low degradation property. While Neem being a biological agent get degraded faster without causing long-term toxicity to plants and soil.
- To prevent soil erosion: Further Neem trees grown in dense at the boundaries of agricultural land can help loss of soil fertility and also surface soil erosion by wind.
- As boundary indicators: These neem plants can also help one to recognize the boundaries of a piece of land as they are tall and live longer. Hence were grown on the boundaries of agricultural lands as an indication of the size of a piece of land.
- Neem coated urea: Neem oil is used to coat or mask urea used in agriculture as fertilizer. This neem coat is said to minimize wastage of urea and provide the urea to the plant for a long time. Besides this, it also minimizes urea contamination in groundwater and air pollution.
Neem tree for furniture: Neem plant is grown in natural habitats everywhere, and so it is easy to find neem wood for making furniture. Neem wood is widely used in making furniture items like wooden doors, cupboards, etc. The specialty of neem plant wood for furniture is that
- Durability: The durability is very high. This is because the neem plant is natural insect repellent and hence, the wood does not get damaged by wood-boring insects like termites.
- Hardness: The wood is tough and strong, and further it is readily available and cheaper than other expensive woods.