Botanical Name: Azadirachta Indica
Family Name: Meliaceae
Vernacular names :
- Hindi – Nim
- Engish – Margosa tree or Neem
- Malayalam – Veppu
- 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
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
- Nimba ( Azadirachta indica)
- Maha nimba ( Melia azaderach )
- Parvata nimba ( Aralu )
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.
Commonly found in various parts of India, grows wild in sub- Himalayan tract and forests of other areas.
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.
Rasa – Tikta, Kasaya
Guna – Laghu, Ruksa
Virya – Seta
Vipaka – Katu
Karma – Kapha Pittahara, Dipana, Grahi, Krimighna, Netrya
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
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.
Nimbadi tailam, Nimbadi choornam, Nimbarishtam, Arogya Vardhini rasa, Nimbi Haridra Khanda, Arsohari, Panchatikta Guggulu gritha
Bark powder 2-4g, fresh juice 10-20ml, seed oil 5-10 drops
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Skin disorders and anti- microbial activity
It is found affective in case of acute eczyema, ringworm infestation and scabies (Singh et al;1978)
- CNS activity
Leaf extract showed varying degree of CNS depressant activity in mice (Singh et al; 1987; Singh et al; 1980)
- Immunostimulant activity
The acqueous extract of bark showed anti- complimentary activity, acting bot on alternative and classical pathway activation (vander et al; 1987&1989)