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General information on Neem oil

The Neem tree is a fast growing, long-life tree popular in the tropics and is grown for its ornamental value, as well as for its therapeutic value, used as fuel and for its workable, but unpleasant smelling wood.

More information on Neem oil

The Latin name of the tree is derived from the Persian word azaddhirakt – meaning “noble tree”. In Ayurvedic medicine Neem is the most important detoxicant and is a very potent febrifuge (reducing fever) and is used to treat intermittent fevers and has shown to contain effective anti-malarial (Plasmodium falciparum) compounds.

The seed (from which we cold press our oil) yields Margosa oil (other word for Neem oil) and is a non-drying oil with insecticidal and antiseptic properties.

Almost everything of the tree can be used. In herbal application the leaves, flowers, bark, seeds and oil is used. It is a bitter tonic herb that is used for clearing toxins, reducing inflammation, lowering fever, promoting healing and in general promoting and improving body functions. It destroys a wide range of parasitic organisms and is also an insecticidal compound and studies have shown it to be a spermicidal (killing sperm).

In Indian tradition Neem is one of the most important herbal ingredients - not only to help fight certain health problems, but also used in the earliest cosmetics and skin care products. The women also used Neem to protect their stored grains and pulses throughout the year as it is a great deterrent for pests.

Although Indian women incorporated it into their daily beauty and hygiene regimen men used the oil to prevent baldness and graying of the hair, and decoctions and Neem oil were used to remove lice and to combat dandruff.

Skin allergies were sorted out by mixing a teaspoon of dried leaf Neem powder with a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) and placing it on irritated skin. The fine twigs of the tree were chewed until the fibers were open, and then used as a toothbrush.

The European Patent Office (EPO) in 1995 granted a patent on an anti-fungal product, derived from Neem, to the US Department of Agriculture and the multinational company - W. R. Grace and Company. This patent grant was challenged by the Indian government, because the process for which the patent had been granted had actually been in use in India for over 2000 years. In 2000 the European Patent Office made a ruling in India's favor. However, the US company filed an appeal, claiming that prior art about the product had never been published in a scientific journal. At last, on 8 March 2005 the appeal was lost and the European Patent Office revoked the patent rights - keeping the Neem tree free of patent restrictions.

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Neem oil is known by various names - and here are a few:

Arabic Azad Darkhtu Hind
Bengali Neem, Nim, Nimgachh
Burmese Tamabin, Kamakha
English Margosa, Neem, Indian Lilac
French Azarirae d’lnde, Margousier
German Nimbaum, Neembaum, Indischer Zadrach
Gujarati Leemdo
Hindi Neem
Indonesia Mindi
Konkani Beva-rooku
Malay Dawoon Nambu, Baypay
Malayalam Veppu, Aryaveppu, Aruveppu, Kaippan, Veppu, Vepa
Marathi Kadunimb
Nepal Nim
Nigeria Don goyaro
Oriya Nimo
Persian Azad Dirakht
Portuguese Margosa, Nimbo
Punjabi Nimm
Singapore Kohumba, nimba
Sinhalese Nimu
Spanish Margosa
Swahili Maurubaini
Tamil Vembu, Vempu

 

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