Azadirakhta or Neem is a tree of the Meliaceae family, 12 to 18 m high with a spreading crown, originating from the tropical and subtropical regions of Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.
Leaves thrice pinnately compound, 25-80 cm long. The flowers are purple, in racemes, with a honey smell. The fruits are medium-sized, round, yellow. Homeland, most likely, Southeast Asia. It is widely cultivated as a park tree in subtropical and tropical states and Central Asia.
Contains active substances:
The seeds contain 40-60% fatty oil, also oil and traces of valeric acid and 0.1% margospicrin (C 2 3H 2 4O 2). Some bitter limonoids (nortriterpenoids) were found in the oil, as well as nimbine, deacetyl nimbine, nimbasterol and within 0.4% sulfur derivatives. It has an unpleasant odor and a bitter taste. The leaves contain sterols, limonoids, flavonoids, coumarins, alkaloids. In fruits – also alkaloids, poisonous (!). The bark contains the alkaloid margosine.
In medicine, fruits and seeds, bark, leaves, flowers and roots are used. Products made from it have proven medicinal properties, being anthelmintic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antidiabetic, and sedative. The bark and roots are used as antipyretic and anthelmintic. The fruits, bark and leaves have insecticidal, antimalarial, antimicrobial and contraceptive effects. The plant is used in homeopathy.