Neem in Pharmaceuticals and Toiletries
Neem fruits, seed oil, leaves, bark and roots have varied uses such as general
antiseptics, antimicrobials, treatment of urinary disorders, diarrhoea,
fever bronchitis, skin infections, septic sores infected burns, hypertension,
and inflammatory diseases.
Neem leaf extracts and teas are reputed to treat malaria, the antimalarial
action is attributed to gedunin, a limonoid. Neem tablets, containing
a neem leaf decoction, recommended and are available in India for cases
of diabetes mellitus of adults, nonketonic diabetes, and for cases of
insulin fast or insulin sensitivity.
By far the largest outlet for neem oil in India (one-fourth of ~ 83,000
tons annually) is the soap industry which market about a dozen different
brands of bathing and laundry soaps.
Neem oil also is used in the manufacture of dog soaps and shampoo that control
that control, ticks, fleas, and lice. In Germany, it is used in herbal hair
oil, hair tonic, and nail oil.
A newly founded U.S. company is marketing a variety of toiletries based
on neem oil and extracts.
Neem twigs are used daily by millions in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan
as disposable toothbrushes. Neem toothpastes and powders are reputed as
effective dentrifice products.
Extracts of neem bark are used in some toothpastes and mouth washes singly
or in combination with other herbal extracts.
The inhibiting effect of aqueous neem extract upon bacterial properties
influencing plaque formation has recently been confirmed (Wolinsky et al.
1996). Other medicinal and veterinary uses of neem are emerging with better
bioassays and modern protociols. Neem compounds and extracts may prove to
be a rich cornucopia of many novel therapies.
Cattle leaf supplements containing neem leaf powder are worm killers. Creams
containing neem oil are used for animal wound addressing and also act as
fly and mosquito repellents.
In Kenya, rural farming households have found in neem an inexpensive way
to protect the native chicken from the dreaded New Castle virus disease.
Neem seed powder or cake mixed in water and provided for drinking or chicken
forced fed with neem cake during epidemic survived, while other died.