English/ Common name- Neem tree

Local name- ಬೇವು

Botanical name- Azadirachta indica

Appearance- Neem trees can reach 15–30 meters (49–98 feet) in height and have attractive rounded crowns and thick furrowed bark. The compound leaves have toothed leaflets and are typically evergreen but do drop during periods of extreme drought. The small fragrant white flowers are bisexual or staminate (male) and are borne in clusters in the axils of the leaves. A Dark Grey or dark reddish-brown with numerous and scattered tubercles. The bark exudes a gum known as East India gum

Origin- Neem is likely native to the Indian subcontinent and to dry areas throughout South Asia

Conditions required for growth- It thrives under the hottest conditions where the maximum day temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius. But it cannot withstand freezing or extended cold. Neem grows on almost all kinds of soils including clayey, saline, and alkaline soils but does well on black cotton soils. It thrives better than most other trees on dry stony saline soils with a waterless sub-soil or in places where there is a hard calcareous or clay pan near the surface

Uses- Nearly all parts of the neem tree are useful, and many of its medicinal and cosmetic uses are based on its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Neem is commonly used in shampoos for treating dandruff and in soaps or creams for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and athlete’s foot. It is also a component in some toothpaste and mouthwashes, especially in the Indian subcontinent, and young twigs are used directly as crude toothbrushes in rural areas. Neem leaves have long been used as a traditional treatment for diabetes, and there is some clinical evidence suggesting that they may help control blood sugar levels.

Common remedies-

  • (Part of the tree used - Leaves ) To make an anti-acne neem pack, boil equal amounts of neem leaves and orange peel in water. When the peel and leaves become soft, remove them and grind them into a fine paste. To this neem and orange peel paste add a little honey and lemon juice. Apply this pack on your face and after 20 minutes wash it off with water.

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