Neem Tree Wonders (Post No.7536)

Written  by London Swaminathan               

Post No.7536

Date uploaded in London – – 4 February 2020

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Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog.

There is an interesting anecdote about neem trees. A newly married wife was worried as her husband had to proceed on a long journey on some assignment. His wife consulted the local doctor who advised her to ask her husband to sleep under a tamarind tree during his onward journey and under a neem tree on his return journey. Tamarind will make any one sick if one sleeps under it. Sleeping under the tamarind tree made her husband sick. So without continuing his journey he returned home quickly. But he remembered to sleep under neem tree while returning. This gave him quick recovery. He was alright when he came back home. His wife was very happy. This folk tale highlights the medicinal property of the Neem trees.

But it is not just a folk tale. Two major tragedies attracted the world attention towards neem. In 1958 there was a devastating locust attack in Nigeria that wiped out every tree in the area, leaving only the neem trees untouched. And the second was the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984 which killed over 3000 people. But the neem trees were not affected.

In Ayurveda books neem has been mentioned by Charaka and others.

India fought with USA for nearly fifteen years for the patent rights for neem tree and won at last.

Neem’s botanical name is Azadirachta indica. Also known as Veppa or nimba in vernacular languages. It is called margosa tree.


Gudi Padwa Festival

A gudi is a long pole. People of Ayodhya were very happy when Lord Rama returned to the city after 14 years in exile . They celebrated the occasion by displaying ‘gudi’ at the entrance of their houses. At the top end of the pole, a coloured silk cloth is pleated and fixed with a silver or brass pot. It is decorated with a small garland of flowers and twigs of the neem tree. Gudi padwa day is the new year day according to Shalivahana Shaka. Marathi and Konkani Hindus celebrate it. It falls on the first day of the month of Chitra. Nearer this time comes the Telugu New Year called Ugadi. First day of Chitrai month is new year day for Tamils and many other communities in India as well.

Tamils use the flowers of neem in the Payasam for the Tamil New Year Day, which is a sweet liquid made with jaggery.

Neem tree occurs in various amulets found in ancient India.

In the Buddhist Jataka Tales, it is praised as nature’s bitter boon.

In India there is a common belief that chewing fresh leaves of neem daily purifies the blood and strengthens the defence mechanism of human body. They even say that one gets immunity from even snake poison and scorpion poison.

Neem has been mentioned in Charak Samhita. All parts of the tree are used to treat internal and external ailments. It is a medicine for skin diseases. The pharmacological properties of the Neem tree are so popular in India that virtually it is playing the role of a village dispensary. They use almost every part of the tree in one way or other. The twigs are used as truth brushes. It has germicidal and anti -septic properties. The decoction of bark and leaves is used as febrifuge to relieve fever. The dry flowers are used in certain dishes. The leaves and bark are used to heal wounds, ulcers, jaundice and skin diseases. The fruits are used as purgative.


The oil of the seeds is used as a medicinal hair oil and also for curing rheumatism and leprosy.

Prayer meetings by Gandhiji at Sabarmati Ashram and Sevagram were conducted under neem tree.

Cutting of these trees is a taboo as it is considered akin to killing a young girl.

In India deaths due to pesticides are very high. Neem’s pesticidal property will save many.

Source. Organiser article dated 12-6-2005 with my inputs.

My old articles on the same subject: › 2017/06/11 › significance-of-neem-tree-in-hind…

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