The Neem tree is part of the mahogany family. It is one of two species in the genus known as Azadirachta – the botanical name for the Neem tree is Azadiracta indicus.
Although native to the Indian sub-continent, the Neem tree grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions in many other parts of the world including Nepal, Burma, Nigeria, Vietnam, other regions of East Asia and East Africa. Neem is not a particularly large tree by tropical standards, reaching heights of around 20 metres.
Being tropical, the Neem tree is an evergreen and fast growing. Neem trees have largish leaves (sometimes more than 1 foot long) as well as olive-like fruit, both of which are used medicinally.
The use of the Neem tree has been most developed in Indian culture and the associated traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Such is the power of common belief that in India, it is known variously as ‘the sacred tree’, ‘heal all’, ‘the village pharmacy’ and ‘cure for all illnesses’.
Hence, parts of the Neem tree have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments from treating worms in the gut, to a sedative. It has also been used traditionally as contraception!
These panaceas, however, do not always fit into modern herbal medicine which considers the prime use of Neem tree extracts as being best:
The plant compound derived from Neem which has been most researched is Azadirachtin. This is a secondary compound of the substances nimbin, nimbinin and nimbidin found in neem oil – which can in turn, be found in neem seeds as well as neem leaves.
This herbal insect repellent is effective against midges, mosquitoes and flies. Contains neem oil, well-known in India as a traditional way to protect against insects.
Find out more about Neem insect repellent.
Cold pressed from neem fruit and seeds. Neem oil is most often used in body care products. Our products are not tested on animals.
Find out more about A.Vogel Neem oil.
Made from extracts of neem leaves, this popular herbal cream soothes irritated, dry skin.
Find out more about Neem cream.
A shampoo suitable for everyday use by the whole family. Neem shampoo helps to soothe irritated and flaky scalps.
Find out more about Neem shampoo.