In Sanskrit it is Nimba and Ayurveda has given it many synonyms like arishta(eradicator of disease), pichumarda(good for skin diseases) and so on.
Cure for all skin diseases has been attributed to this plant. Even though the most common part of the plant used in medicine is its bark, all the panchaangaas (5 parts) viz root, leaves, flowers, bark and fruit are utilized.
- Of these, leaves are extensively used both externally and internally in home remedies. For chicken pox, neem leaves are spread on the bed and bath is given with water boiled with neem leaves and turmeric. (According to the Hindu mythology, Sheetala, the Goddess of chickenpox resides in the Neem tree).
- Resin is often used to fumigate the house. It'll keep communicable infections like chicken pox away. This has to be done by adding neem resin to benzoin resin(sambrani).
- Leaves are also consumed by many on empty stomach to keep blood sugar under control.
- Oil is good for skin diseases and also a very good for joint pain when applied externally alongwith castor oil and sesame oil. Oil is also used in pest control.
- People in India use its twigs as toothbrush.
Internationally, Neem Foundation has helped people understand its importance.
Only tender leaves are effective in diabetes while mature ones are indicated for skin diseases.