or centuries Neem has been used in India provide health cover to livestock in various forms. It has also very widely been used as animal feed. Ancient Sanskrit literature indicates that Neem applications were used by Nakul and Sahadeva in the epic of Mahabharata as well as afterwards in a large number of indigenous prescriptions and formulations.
Almost every part of the tree is bitter and finds application in indigenous medicine. Records exist that Neem has been used in a large number of ailments in animals ranging from systemic disorders to infections and injuries.
In modern veterinary medicine Neem extracts are known to possess anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and they have been used successfully in cases of stomach worms and ulcers.. The stem and root bark and young fruits are reported to possess astringent, tonic and anti-periodic properties. The root bark is reported to be more active than the stem bark and young fruits. The bark is reported to be beneficial in cutaneous diseases.
Some trees, especially near the water courses exude a sap naturally form the stem-tip. The sap is considered refrigerant, nutrient and tonic, and useful in skin diseases, a tonic in dyspepsia and general debility.
The Neem bark exudes a clear, bright and amber-coloured gum, known as the East India gum. The gum is stimulant, demulcent and tonic and is useful in catarrhal and other infections.
The leaves contain nimbin, nimbinene, 6-desacetylnimbiene, nimbandiol, nimbolide and quercetin. The presence of betasitosterol, n-hexacosanol and nonacosane is also reported.
Leaves are carminative and aid digestion. The tender leaves along with Piper nigrum Linn., are found to be effective in intestinal helminthiasis. The paste of leaves is useful in ulceration of cow-pox An aqueous extract (10%) of tender leaves is reported to possess anti-viral properties against vaccinia, variola, foulpox and New Castle disease virus. The extract of leaf yields fractions which marketedly delay the clotting time of blood. The strong decoction of fresh leaves is stated to be an antisceptic. The hot infusion of leaves is used as anodyne for fomenting swollen glands, bruises and sprains.
The fruit is used as a tonic, antiperiodic, purgative, emollient and as an antithelmintic. The dry fruits are bruised in water and employed to treat cutaneous diseases.
SEED & KERNEL OIL:
The kernels yield a greenish yellow to brown, acrid, bitter fixed oil (40.0-48.9%), known as Oil of Margosa. The oil has many therapeutic uses and is covered in Indian Pharmacopia. Medicinal properties of the oil are attributed to the presence of bitter principles and odorous compounds. The bitter principles are used in the pharmaceutical industry. Intrauterine medication of oil controls different types of metritis. The oil is reported to have anti-fertility properties. It posseses anti-fungal and antiseptic activity and is found to be active against both Gram negative and Gram positive micro-organisms.
Effect of Neem oil has been evaluated in diabetes as antihyperlycaemic agent. The Neem oil has shown antihyperglycaemic effect in dogs.