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Our Trees - Neem Tree

Species  : 

Azadirachta indica

Other Names  :  Chinaberry, Indian Lilac, Margosa Tree, Paradise Tree, White Cedar,
Hindi Names  :  Neem
Neem is perhaps the most useful traditional medicinal plant in India. Each part of the neem tree has some medicinal property and is thus commercially exploitable. It has, for a very long time, been a friend and protector of the Indian villager. Brihat Samhita, an ancient Hindu treatise, contains a chapter of verses on plant medicines. It contains recommendations for specific trees to be planted in the vicinity of one's house. Neem was highly recommended.
Neem is a medium to large sized tree and has straight trunk and long spreading branches forming a broad round crown and hence grown as Avenue tree. Bark is moderately thick, furrowed dark brown to grey black. The tree matures in 10 - 15 years and has a religious significance. All parts of tree are bitter and medicinal. In India it is said that, where there are large number of Neem trees, there are no diseases. With an extensive and deep root system, the hardy Neem can grow luxuriantly even in marginal and leached soils, and thrives up to an elevation of 1500m. 
The Neem flowers between February and May. The honey-scented white flowers, found in clusters, are a good source of nectar for bees. Neem fruits are green drupes which turn golden yellow on ripening in summers in India. The kernels have about 45% oil. The termite resistant Neem timber is used as a building material, and in making furniture and farm implements. The bark yields tannin and gum. The amber hued gum is used as a dye in textiles and in traditional medicines. Neem fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, bark and roots have such uses as general antiseptics, antimicrobials, treatment of urinary disorders, diarrhoea, fever and bronchitis, skin diseases, septic sores, infected burns, hypertension and inflammatory diseases. Neem has proved effective against certain fungi that infect the human body.