What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Neem (Azadirachta indica)?
Great Information by Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurveda)
Interviewer: Welcome Dr. Vikram, today we want to ask you about some very, you can say special thing which is very common in India. And it's very useful in commercial world or village pharmacy also and people are using it day to day life, so I am talking about Neem. So Neem is very popular in India and it is very commonly available also, so please tell us about this.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes neem it's not only popular in India, it's getting popular worldwide. People from all over the world now using neem for its so many properties. It is useful in skin problem, metabolic syndrome, it is useful as pesticide, insecticide, so many properties of neem. So lot of thing, lot of products have come up, lot of cosmetic products have come up, lot of pet care products have come up, lot of even agriculture products have come up, and for human consumption also there are so many products because it is effective in so many diseases.
Interviewer: Yes it is very popular.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: It is very common, commonly used in India for last so many years since ancient times, 5000 yrs old. So many Ancient textbooks are written on this particular tree, neem tree.
Interviewer: Ok, I try to find it in my garden near my home and what come to my surprise is there two different trees and it was almost similar but I was not able to understand which one is pure and which one is useful so I also want to know about different if it is different then what is the difference?
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes neem it has similar looking another tree it is called Maha-neem, so people they are not able to distinguish between the two neems, one is neem and one is Maha-neem and Latin name is Azadirachta indica of neem tree and the other is Melia Azadirachta, so I have some.
Interviewer: Yes I see you have collected this.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: I have collected the leaves, I want to show you. You see this is a neem, this one. This is Azadirachta indica and this one is Melia Azadirachta this is Maha neem. You see it is darker, leaves are very darker and in neem they are little lighter and if you look at the tree from far, you will see the this one Melia Azadirachta, Maha neem has appearing very dark from far and this one is slightly lighter and you see the neem tree, the petiole you see there is no leaf at the end in neem tree there is no leaf at end. But in Maha neem there is petiole have terminal leaflet, so this is the difference one of the difference. I want to show you another example. You see I have this one is Maha neem you see they are properly arranged leaves, these are Maha-neem and there are terminal leaflet. And you see there is terminal leaflet so many people they are not able to distinguish between neem and Maha-neem, so this is neem, you see Maha neem is darker and this neem is darker and this neem they don't have terminal leaflet. Yes at the end there is no terminal leaflet.
Interviewer: Yes it is very simple to distinguish.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: and in this Maha-neem this branch, this one is also bigger.
Interviewer: ok yes it is very big.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: the petiole it's very big. Instead of there is many this smaller leaves. One big branch Called phylotaxy in botany anyway, this so you can easily distinguish by the color, by the arrangement of leaves and you.
Interviewer: it's very simple to understand.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: so there are many people who use, who don't understand the difference, keep using this Maha-neem instead of neem. It is very important to use exact neem because that gives better results. So this is miracle herb, this is miracle tree every single part of it is beneficial.
Interviewer: ok every part is useful.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: The bark is useful, the leaves are very useful, the fruits, fruits are just like they are like droops, droops like mango. Outside there is this cover and then inside there is seed, this is fruit of neem. They are yellowish green. And they are very useful in so many diseases.so mainly neem leaves are used in skin problems. So In India they boil the leaves and they will give to the patient suffering from the boils, for acne problem, for dandruff, for psoriasis problem, for all the chronic eczema problem. Even in diabetes they are also very good, in this piles also because it is antibiotic and anti-infective.so anti-biotic, Anti-infective, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing properties are there so in pet care also if you have pet, because everybody, everyone is not having this neem tree near by if someone is not having then neem capsules can be used.
Interviewer: So Dr. Vikram you are a ayurveda expert, you can tell better about Ayurvedic properties of neem also.so please.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes, according to ayurveda neem is light and dry in properties. And taste is bitter, any herb which is light and dry easily digestible and it causes lightness in body and if we use it for too much in for long period and higher quantity then it can produce little dryness also in the body. It is very useful to use it along with cow ghee, so if you process it in cow ghee or in some oil.
Interviewer: Or if one use to take ghee along with diet.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: So the dryness goes away but in short term one month, 2 month, or even 3-4 months if you use neem then there are no side effect and it is bitter in taste and its good for pitta, you know pitta is controlled by the bitter taste herb. So pitta is all causing skin problems. Very good for pitta problems and other skin diseases.
Interviewer: So dryness factor you are telling is it a side effect or is it a property because in acne people they are also having oily skin.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan:: It is a very good question infect if there is oily skin, if there is wet eczema, there is oozing skin then it is very beneficial this dryness can cover all the problems.
Interviewer: Ok so it is beneficial.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: So in wet eczema it is wonderful it is a miracle, oozing eczema you can even.
Interviewer: in very serious condition.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: very serious condition so it is very good the vipaka of this neem is katu vipaka so it's good in cholesterol also in diabetes also it is very good.
Interviewer: Many uses so apart from this you can say side effects and benefits, what are the, you can say, for common person how it is useful in what conditions, if you elaborate.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes I want to tell so many common conditions, if you start from head, then for dandruff use it, if you don't have the access to tree or leaf they can use the capsule. Take out the capsule and then use it over the scalp, rub it over the scalp.
Interviewer: This neem capsule you have, ok.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: or we can open up the capsule and rub it over the scalp and dandruff is gone. Even in wound healing, if the wound is not healing. If the ulcer is not healing, diabetic wounds, or any fissure, the piles they are causing infection, infection in the piles, and any other skin infection the capsule can be opened up then can be applied.
Interviewer: Ok for local application, one can open these capsules and use the powder.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: In chicken pox also, in any chicken pox, any other measles also, one can wash those, in herpes also it is very wonderful. In herpes I have seen very good results. The vesicles they don't give pain and they clear very quickly. If they are washed by neem leaf decoction or if neem capsules are consumed or if neemcapsules paste is applied or washed with the neem, so these are the different uses and even I want to tell one important role of neem also in pets. Because you know pets specially dogs they have lot of skin problems and they, this neem is very effective in those.
Interviewer: Ok dogs can take.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: It is very good insecticide also, because if the dogs they have flees and tic in there body dogs and cats or even sheep or goat also or even horses also. If they have tic and flees.
Interviewer: They can use it for local application, external use.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Local application and internal use also be done. Locally you can open the capsule and then you can make a paste or make a mix in the shampoo and you can use it, any shampoo you are using just open the capsule and add the capsule in the shampoo and you are going to use it. It is wonderful for flees and tics. They will go and as a pesticide also in agriculture people are using it as an organic pesticide. It is very wonderful.
Interviewer: That's very great. Yes so apart from this there if you see in commercial world also, lot of preparation are there with neem, or you can say face washes, face creams and so many things are there cosmetic. So they are all mentioned that neem is their in the product.is it effective to use that equally effective or it should be done with external use.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: As I told you neem itself is very effective. If someone is using correct neem, if someone is using correct doses, and the method of preparation is good. Then it will be effective. If basically many manufacturer they don't know the difference between true neem and Maha-neem. And some people they don't use the standardized extract. They use regular extract or some time they use in powder. So it is very important to use very standardized extract and in proper dosages of the proper plant. So pharm diagnosis is very important, recognition of the plant, identification of the plant.
Interviewer: Ok so people who are using this, they should use the correct.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes, in laboratory one should test the plant whether this is exact neem or some other neem or some other plant.
Interviewer: Actually in fact my question was like people who are using external things, cosmetics they should accompany with internal use also some it's only.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Internally it is better. Because neem is blood purifier. So it will purify clean the blood from toxin, it's very good in acne psoriasis, in all the eczema.
Interviewer: because generally people suffering with these problems they just use it externally. So at the same time they should use it internally.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Yes it should be used both ways. In wound healing it should be applied and internally can be consumed.
Interviewer: So Dr. Vikram thank you very much. For such a great information. It will be useful for our viewers. Thank you very much.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan: Thank you.