In India, the neem tree seems to grow everywhere, its leaves providing welcome shade from the hot sun. All parts of the tree, however, have something to offer and have long been used to treat a range of ailments in ancient Indian medicine, known as Ayurveda. (The tree’s name in Sanskrit means “reliever of sickness.”)
For centuries, the juice from neem leaves has been used to soothe skin disorders. Its twigs are chewed as cavity-preventing toothbrushes. In homes, neem leaves—which resemble those of the walnut tree—are used to keep bugs out of beds and stored food; and on the farm, they protect crops from pests, including locusts.
Health Benefits of Neem :
- Neem has anti bacterial, antiparasitic, anti fungal, anti protozoal and anti viral properties, which means it provides protection from almost all microorganisms.
- Applying neem in the form of powder or oil on external cuts or wounds has exceptional results. It fights off all kinds of germs and enables in the easy recovery of the affected area.
- It is very common to take bath in water that has neem leaves added to it. It has medicinal properties and gets rid of all the germs that may be thriving on our bodies.
- Neem powder or oil is very effective in relieving us of skin ailments such as eczema, acne, skin allergy, rashes, itch, ringworms, etc.
- Neem water is very effective when used to treat injuries caused due to burns. It heals up skin fast and prevents the creation of any kind of an allergy or infection.
- Neem oil, when used as a substitute for hair oil, provides amazing results. It prevents hair from graying and also effective in treating dandruff, lice and hair fall.
- Neem oil can be used to massage muscle aches and joints and can be used to relieve pain from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Osteoarthritis, lower back pain, etc.
- Ingesting neem is beneficial in many ways as it helps to restore the taste of mouth, cures constipation and relieves of indigestion. It also eliminated the problem of acidity.
- Eating neem will help get rid of intestinal worms, thus performing its role as a de-worming agent and will help restore healthy functioning of the intestines.
- Taking neem internally is said to effectively improve the quality of blood and purifies and thickens it. It helps getting rid of toxins that may be present in the blood and keeps the body disease-free.
- Neem is said to be a very effective medicine for people suffering from diabetes and helps to control blood sugar levels to a great extent.
- Neem has the ability to make the immune system of a body very strong and get rid off any foreign disease that may weaken the body.
How To Grow Indoor / Outdoor :
The seeds, bark and leaves of the neem tree are mostly used to produce medicinal, cosmetic and insecticidal products. Apart from their leaves and bark, even the fruit from the tree is used for medicinal purposes. It is a well-known fact that neem leaves have been used as an antiseptic and also to treat acute skin problems. Many practitioners use the leaves of the tree to treat ailments ranging from skin rashes to diabetes. The leaves are also made into shampoos, soaps and skin care products. Interestingly, even neem oil obtained by pressing the fruits and seeds of the tree offers many benefits. It is mostly used for treating fungal diseases like black spot, needle rust, mildew and scab, anthracnose and rust. Here are some simple gardening tips to grow the medicinal neem tree.
Purchase a young plant
If you have decided to grow a neem tree in your garden, then make sure to purchase a young tree or order seeds from a good seed company. There are plenty of sources available online to purchase seeds.
All types of soil
Neem grows in almost all types of soil. Growing neem tree is simple as it can be grown in any type of soil which includes clayey, saline, black cotton soil and alkaline soils.
Place your pot in a warm temperature
It is definitely better to cover the seeds with about one inch deep soil in a nursery. Even if you want to grow multiple trees, start your seeds in small pots. The most remembered gardening tip to grow neem tree is to begin cultivating it in spring as the temperature at that time is best suited for germination. Seeds usually take about three to four weeks to germinate.
There is also a way to grow young neem tree in a large pot with drainage holes but make sure to use the best potting mix. Potted neem tree can be kept in natural sunlight and an outdoor environment from spring to late summers, however try to keep the tree indoor after the arrival of fall. Never place the tree in the hot sun for long hours when the young tree starts to show signs of growth. It is also good to provide fluorescent light for several hours during the dark winter months as this helps the tree to respond positively and to continue its growth.
Apply organic fertiliser
Next plant the tree after digging a hole that is larger than the pot size or root system. Make sure to plant the tree deeply to cover the total root ball. Try to grow the neem tree by filling the hole after you set the plant into it. The most important gardening tip is to water young trees once a week with an organic fertiliser like liquid fish emulsions. Be careful to follow the instructions before applying the fertiliser. You need to apply one-half strength dilution of fish emulsion with 1 gallon of water. It is important not to fertilise the tree during winter.
Soil needs to dry
Remember to water the young tree if you want it to retain the moisture in the soil.
Prune your plant
It is better to prune your young tree during spring if you want to maintain a manageable size. You can also prune during late summer.