Azadirachta Indica

Botanical Name: Azadirachta Indica

Family Name: Meliaceae

Description

Vernacular names :

  1. Hindi – Nim
  2. Engish – Margosa tree or Neem
  3. Malayalam – Veppu
  4. Tamil – Vembu 

Synonyms – Arista, Picumarda, Picumanda, Sarvatobhadra, Hingu Niryasa , Yavanesta, Neta, Subhadra, Prabhadra, Sutikta 

Ganas in classical texts:

Charaka   : kandughna, tiktaskandha

Susruta    : aragvadhadi, guduchyadi, laksadi

Vagbhata : aragvadhadi, guduchyadi, laksadi 

Introduction

In the vedic literature niimba is delineated several times. But its stem is not recommended for rituals but used as tooth brush.

Charaka delineated nimba under kandughna drugs (anti-pruritic drugs). Kaidarya mentioned among the sanjasthapana dravyas is considered to be Parvata nimba according to chakrapani. Charaka used the flowers of if nimba for sirovirechana ( nasya). He indicated it for the external use in skin diseases also.

Susruta prescribed it in mutraghata treatment along with other plants. Vaghbhata described its seed oil as very effective in the treatment of grey hair and hair fall as nasal drops for one month (with milk). It is quoted as a vamana dravya by charaka etc. among pacha tiktha , nimba mula twak is mentioned

Varieties : 3 in number

  1. Nimba ( Azadirachta indica)
  2. Maha nimba ( Melia azaderach )
  3. Parvata nimba ( Aralu )

Botanical details

Large tree growing upto 18m high with almost a straight trunk . Leaves are pinnate, 5-15 leaves , opposite, sub opposite, glabrous. Flowers are numerous and honey scented and fruits are seeded drupes, oblong, yellow when ripe.

Distribution

Commonly found in various parts of India, grows wild in sub- Himalayan tract and forests of other areas.

Chemical constituents

Leaves- azadirachtin, azadirachtanin, azadirone, nimnadiol, nimbin, nimbolide etc.

Stem bark- nimbin, nimbidin, nimbinin, sitosterol, kulinone, margasinolide etc.

Root bark- nimbin, nimbidin

Fruits- azadirichtin, azadirachtol, azadirachnol, melianone, nimbiol, nimocin etc

Seed oil- tocopherol, azadirone, azadiradione, nimbinin, salannol, nimbi, nimbidin etc

Flowers- azadoradione, margosene, linoleic acid, arachidic acid etc. 

Properties

Rasa – Tikta, Kasaya

Guna – Laghu, Ruksa

Virya – Seta

Vipaka – Katu

Karma – Kapha Pittahara, Dipana, Grahi, Krimighna, Netrya 

Indications

Indicated in Jwara, Kustha, Prameha, Vrana, Kaasa, Chardi, Visha Roga, Arsa, Gulma, Netra Rogas, Kandu 

Part used – Root bark, stem bark, gum, flowers, leaves, seeds, seed oil 

Therapeutic uses

Sitapitta- nimba leaves and amalaki dried fruit are mixed with ghee and given regularly

Surameha- decoction of nimba is a specific remedy

Jwara- the leaves, root, fruit and bark of neem are mixed with ghee and fumigation is given.

Kustha- nimba and patola together are used in different forms. 

Preparations

Nimbadi tailam, Nimbadi choornam, Nimbarishtam, Arogya Vardhini rasa, Nimbi Haridra Khanda, Arsohari, Panchatikta Guggulu gritha

Dosage

Bark powder 2-4g, fresh juice 10-20ml, seed oil 5-10 drops

Research works

  1. anti-fertility preparations

neem oil, has been reported to poses stromg spermicidal action against rhesus monkey and human spermatozoa within 5 and 30 seconds of mixing with semen (Sinha et al, 1984)

  1. Anti inflammatory and anti arthritic activity

Nimbidin significantly reduced acute paw oedema in rats induced by phlogistic agents, carrageenan and kaoli. Its action is compared to phenylbutazone (Pilla & Santha kumar 1981)

  1. Cardiovascular activity

Extract of neem leaves showed profound hypotension and a minimal negative chronotropic effect. It also exhibited a weak antiarrhythmatic activity in rabbits against oculai-induced dysrhythmia (Thompson & Anderson, 1978)

  1. Anti diabetic activity

Acqueous extract of leaves decreased the blood  sugar levels in dogd and prevented adrenaline as well as glucose hyperglyvcemia. The onset of action was at 30 min- 4 hours (murthy et al; 1958)

  1. Skin disorders and anti- microbial activity

It is found affective in case of acute eczyema, ringworm infestation and scabies (Singh et al;1978)

  1. CNS activity

Leaf extract showed varying degree of CNS  depressant activity in mice (Singh et al; 1987; Singh et al; 1980)

  1. Immunostimulant activity

The acqueous extract of bark showed anti- complimentary activity, acting bot on alternative and classical pathway activation (vander et al; 1987&1989)

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