Commercial Uses Of Neem
Almost every part of the Neem tree viz. roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, trunks
and branches has multiple uses. Neem is not only an excellent source of
pesticides, it also provides good fodder, fuel and timber. This makes Neem
tree a very potentially profitable.
The sapwood of Neem tree is grayish white, while the heartwood
is reddish brown. The wood is aromatic; it is not very lustrous though but
is easily sawn. It seasons well when sawn still wet. It can be worked both
by hand and by machines, but it does not take polish well. Neem timber is
durable even in extended exposed conditions. In addition, it is resistant
to termites and woodwarms. Neem wood has long been used as firewood and
charcoal made from Neem wood is of excellent quality.
Neem bark contains tannins which are used in tanning, dyeing
etc. Compounds extracted from Neem bark are used in production of some dental-care
products like toothpaste etc.
Neem seed pulp is useful for methane gas production. It is
also useful as carbohydrate which is rich base for other industrial fermentations.
Neem leaves possess excellent medicinal properties. In addition
to it's usefulness in Pest management and Disease control they can also
be fed to livestock when mixed with other fodder. Neem leaves are used in
some parts of Indian as fertilizer in rice fields, especially in the south
Indian states. In some countries, Neem leaves are used as mulch in tobacco
and tomato fields. They can be very effectively used to kill weeds by spreading
them over plant roots to retain moisture. Neem leaves can also be used to
protect stored woolen and silk clothes from insects.
Neem cake is versatile and has many uses. It can be used
as livestock feed, fertilizer and natural pesticide. It not only provides
organic nitrogen but also inhibits the nitrification process, when mixed
with urea, before applying in the fields. Such use of the neem coated urea
in 90:10 proportion can save upto 30% of the total chemical nitrogen requirement
of the crops which otherwise would go waste. This results in cost reductions
of agricultural production.
Neem cake is widely used in India as fertilizer for sugarcane, vegetable
and other cash crops. Neem cake also acts as natural pesticide when added
to soil, which protects plant roots from soil-insects and nematodes.
The most common use of Neem oil is for soap production
for economical reasons. This is infact the gross misuse of the precious
agent which otherwise has several compounds proven for medicinal and agricultural
uses of high importance and value.
On the other hand, if properly used for soap production to harness it's
general hygiene properties, the resulted product is infact proved to be
of great health use. Such medicated soaps with Neem odour are proved to
have very effective anti-germ properties.
Neem is also becoming a popular beauty aid. Few companies are using Neem
oil and leaves for producton of cosmetics like facial creams, nail polishs,
nail oils, shampoos and conditioners etc.
Neem oil is also a very effective mosquito repellent