Thursday, November 27, 2008

Medicinal Plants: Neem

My dad was always planting trees. We used to move house a lot because dad was a Senior Government Officer. Besides planting papaya and banana trees, he planted a lot of non fruiting trees.

Mum used to query him why he did it, since we would move in a matter of years. he answered, it didn't matter, some one in future would enjoy the shade. I asked why he didn't plant fruit trees. The houses in Sarawak then were not fenced in, and he didn't like people come and steal the fruits and cause trouble.

He is the first tree arbor lover I know.

I wasn't to know that I too would become a tree arbor lover. I might have left Singapore, but I have left my legacy. I have planted two neem trees and my friend A goes from New Zealand to Singapore and checks on the trees for me.

I have 2 trees which the Malays ask for their leaves to relieve chicken pox itch. The Indians say it is a wonder tree. My Indian friends say in India, pregnant women brush their swollen tummy to relieve itch. They also use the twigs as tooth brushes and tooth picks.

I gave those trees tender loving care. When they were saplings, after a heavy thunder storm, they would topple, and I would pain stakefully go and support them with timber poles.

I have bought Neem toothpaste.


Neem or Margosa is a botanical cousin of mahogany. It belongs to the family Meliaceae. The latinized name of Neem - Azadirachta indica is derived from the persian

Azad = Free,
dirakht = Tree,
i - Hind = of Indian Origin

which literally means: 'The Free Tree of India'.

Baldness:-applying margosa oil on the bald portion,
preferably at night and washing the head in the
morning stops the falling of other hair and helps
in their growth.
Other hair disorders :washing the hair with water
boiled with margosa leaves stops falling of hair and
helps to grow, be black and lustrous.

This is also useful to kill lice in the hair.
(Precaution to be taken that this water should not
enter the eyes).

Dental disorders
Using fresh margosa twig piece as brush for
cleaning the teeth makes the gums strong, eliminates
foul smell and cures pyorrhoea.

Drinking and gurgling with margosa water (in which
fresh new leaves are boiled) stops dental decay and
pain in the teeth.

Gargling with margosa decoction (made with boiling
of leaves, flowers, fruit, root and branches equal
portion) gives relief to toothache by eliminating
infection in gums.

Cough :-gargles with lukewarm margosa juice mixed
with a few drops of honey cures cough trouble.

Please do not take my word for the above, I have NOT
use the neem. But I am not telling where my trees are.

However, it must be good because there were a few
international court cases regarding this plant. It is
used in a big way in USA for pest repellent.

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