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African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

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Application of neem tree in agriculture, industry, medicine, and environment: a review

Aurora Martínez-Romero, José L. Ortega-Sánchez, Sandra I. Hernández-González, Edgar H. Olivas- Calderón, José J. Alba-Romero

Abstract


Background: The Neem tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) is native to the South Asian countries, but its cultivation has already spread to countries in other continents, always with tropical climates. It is used in Traditional Medicine. The objective of this review was to consult and discuss the application of the Neem tree in agriculture, industry, Medicine, and the environment.
Materials and Methods: Literature retrieval was performed on four databases: OVID; PUBMED; EBSCOhost, and EMBASE, and in the ISI Web of Science. Key words for the search included Neem and Azadirachta indica.
Results: A series of studies have demonstrated that the Neem tree has been used medicinally since ancient times. The bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, and roots have been employed, each with very favorable applications. The bark of the Neem tree is cool, bitter, astringent, pungent, and refreshing. It is useful for oral diseases, cough, fever, neuromuscular pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, intestinal parasites, wound healing, as a laxative, as an anti-hemorrhoidal, as an emetic, for skin diseases, to calm excessive thirst, eliminate toxins, as an astringent, an expectorant, and it purifies the blood and prevents damage caused by free radicals to the body, neutralizing this damage. It is also used to treat snake bites and insect bites. The flowers are utilized to regulate body heat. The oil is removed from the seed for pharmaceuticals, paper, and food. Plants, vegetables, and herbs employed as food for humans, and currently in Traditional Medicine, have been accepted as an essential contribution to drug discovery and in chemotherapy in cancer prevention and development. This vegetable oil has physicochemical properties that allow its proposal as a potential raw material for the soap industry.
Conclusion: It was possible to know and discuss the variety of applications of the Neem tree, including the bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, and roots, each with very favorable applications in agriculture, industry, Medicine, and especially its use in the care environment.

Key words: Energizing, pharmacy, healing, purgative, pesticide.




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