The Neem plant is a perennial tree that can live for hundreds of years. It is scientifically called Azadirachta indica. Every part of the neem tree, its leaves or seeds, are bitter in taste.
It finds its use in soaps, toothpaste, shampoos, etc., due to its inherent anti-microbial property.
It is one among the list of medicinal plants with varied benefits. The parts of the plants extensively used are leaves, seeds (oil), and stem wood.
Neem is propagated by its seeds and hence can be easily grown in soil by using natural seeds.
Uses of neem plant
Neem is used in medicine, agriculture and also in the home furniture. But for convenience, we will read as
- For medicine
- Veterinary use
- Pest control
- In agriculture
- For furniture
In Medicine and health care
Neem is used for external skin applications and also internally for a few diseases.
Neem oil has anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-nematode and spermicide activities.
Hence neem is used for various infectious conditions on the skin, including dandruff, pimples, and prevention of lice infestation on the head.
It is a good insect repellent; hence, neem oil, when applied on the scalp overnight at regular intervals, helps get rid of lies on the scalp of the head.
Spermicide is an agent that can kill sperms and prevent conception. Neem oil is found to be an effective spermicide and hence it can be used in contraceptive products to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
For dental hygiene (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 a 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 has potential insect repellant and larvicidal properties, due to which it is used for the control of pests and fleas in sheep, dogs, cats, and other cattle.
It is used as shampoo, oil, sprays, or powder to reduce parasitic infestations in pets and animals.
It also has nematocide properties. So, cattle are fed with neem cake (a pulp of neem seed after oil extraction).
This neem feed kills nematode parasites in the gut of cattle.
Neem plants are one of the sources of natural pesticides. Besides, being a huge plant with a long lifespan has advantages like.
As natural pesticide
The use of biopesticides helps minimize pollution of air, water, soil.
Synthetic pesticides pollute the air, water and also soil due to low degradation properties.
Neem being a biological agent, gets degraded faster without causing long-term toxicity to plants and soil.
Further, pests develop resistance to synthetic pesticides. Whereas they cannot develop for neem as it acts on their hormonal system.
To prevent soil erosion
Neem trees grow densely at the boundaries of agricultural land can help prevent loss of soil fertility and soil erosion by wind.
As boundary indicators
These neem plants can also help one recognize the boundaries of a piece of land as they are tall and live longer. Hence, they were grown on the boundaries of agricultural lands as an indication of the boundaries for 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.
This wood is widely used in making furniture items like wooden doors, windows, cupboards, etc. The specialty of neem plant wood for furniture is that
- Better Durability: The durability of neem wood is 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. This can be preferred at home near to rural or forest areas as the chances of termites are high. In urban areas it might not be suitable as it lack visual appeal.
- Hardness: The wood is tough and strong, and further it is readily available and cheaper than other expensive woods.
But, unlike regular woods, the neem wood has a chance of developing cracks and changes in dimensions with the season, leading to improper closures.