Neem: An Integrative Pharmacy

Neem: An Integrative Pharmacy

KHARTOUM (sudanow) - In the Dar Alsalam rural neighborhood lived Hajja Haleema Haroun Adam, who worked at a school in down town Omdurman. She used to flock to her work early in the morning and return to her place at sunset, quite exhausted and even unable to dispense the other duties of her home. Frequent malaria attacks had used to make her condition even worse. A kin of hers came up with a solution for her fatigue: To boil neem tree leaves, cool the extract for some time and then put it in a laundry basin or a bucket and then soak her feet in it for 15 minutes. Then boil the neem leaves again twice or three times and repeat the process on daily basis.


Haleema said after a short while “I did away with all the fatigue, even malaria was gone, because of the neem tree leaves thus applied.”


According to Agronomist, Prof. Baha’ Eddin Khamees, all parts of the neem tree are rich in biochemical substances.


“All the studies conducted so far have proved that all the parts of the neem tree, its leaves, seeds, flowers, branches and extracts have proved to contain a stock of bio-chemicals. We have, in fact, discovered that the neem tree contains 40 effective components,” he said.


The neem tree, also known by its scientific name ‘Azadirachta indica’ and the Indian Lilac, is a bulky tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to India and the Indian subcontinent, including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is believed to have been brought to the Sudan and the Nile Valley by the Britons at the turn of the 20th Century.


It is known for its uncountable benefits and is considered an integrative pharmacy; entering into several healing concoctions for a lot of ailments, including care for the human skin.


It is an effective repellent of different types of pests, in particular flies and mosquitoes. By that definition, the neem is used in the preparation of pesticides. The leaves extract contains an inhibitor of blood clots. It is also used as a treatment for pest bites, burns, skin disorders and inflammations. The neem oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties are helpful in skin problems. The neem was also found to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. The neem oil enters into a lot of drugs that prevent a lot of diseases. It was found to activate the immune system, thanks to the natural antibiotics it contains. The neem has a strong capacity to kill bacteria and harmful microscopic creatures. Its bark is used to mitigate fits of asthma and its branches are used in the brushing of teeth due to their germ killing contents. That is why it has now entered into the manufacturing of some famous tooth pastes.


It is also believed to be anti-cancerous and is used as a laxative and a reducer of temperature. Its gum is used as a sedative. Its fruits are used in the removal of stomach worms and in treating the different problems of the urinary tract.


A lot of cosmetics companies have started to use neem leaves and oils in the production of skin care drugs, scoring spectacular results. In this respect it is used in the treatment of dry skin and in the removal of wrinkles. It suits all types of skins and is useful in the removal of scalp dandruff and eases scalp itching and inflammations.


The neem trees were found to purify the air in densely populated cities by absorbing harmful gas emissions.


In the Sudan where the summer season is so long and too hot, experts advise the growing of more neem trees  along the town’ and cities’ roads to moderate the air and kill pests. Housewives are advised to put neem branches and leaves in the different parts of their homes every now and then to repel insects and to refresh the air by the pleasant essential (volatile) oils contained in the neem leaves and branches.




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