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Azadirachta indica tree is widely distributed in Asia, Africa and other tropical parts of the world. It is indigenous to India and from where it has spread to many Asian and African countries. It belongs to the genus Azadirachta and family Meliaceae. Neem is a fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 15–20 meters. It is evergreen, but in severe drought it may shed most or nearly all of its leaves. The branches are wide spread. The fairly dense crown is roundish or oval and may reach the diameter of 15–20 metres in old, free-standing specimens.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Azadirachta indica
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Nimba Bengali : Neem Gujarati : Limba Hindi : Neem Malayalam : Arya Veppu Marathi : Nimba, Nimbay, Limba Kannada : Bevu Tamil : Vempu Telugu : Vepa
Chemical Constituents
Bark : Nimbin, 6-desacetyk nimbin Penta-nortriterpene, Margolone, Saponins, Sterols Leaf : Quercitin, Kaompferol and their glycosides, Meliantriol, Nimbadinol Seeds : Azadirachtin, Salanin, Gedunin, Azadiradione, Limocinol, Limocin A &B, Nimbinin. Flowers: Quercitin-3galactoside, kaempferol-3-glucoside, Nimbosterol, Myricitin.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interact with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
In India neem tree is known as "Nature's Drugstore". Products made from neem tree have been used in India for over two millennia for their medicinal properties. Neem possesses anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive and sedative activities. Neem products are also used in selectively controlling pests in plants. It is considered a major component in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine and is particularly prescribed for skin diseases. It is one of the main ingredients in blood purification formula and it appears in most Diabetic formulas as well. It is also used for arthritis, rheumatism, the removal of external and internal parasites. Neem is used for a wide range of ailments including flu, fever, sore throat, cold, fungal infections, skin diseases, malaria and many more ailments. Limonoids and polysaccharides present in Neem leaf are responsible for the anti cancer property. This also boosts the immune system and destroys the cancer cells present in colon.
Health Benefits
Every part of Neem tree possesses beneficial therapeutic properties such as leaves, bark, seeds and roots. Traditionally in Ayurveda the fresh leaves and twigs were used on a daily basis as a preventative for many conditions, including tooth decay, gum disease, malaria, etc. It is also very effective in the treatment of blood purification (in case of bacterial, fungal, or viral infections), malaria, fever, arthritis, rheumatism, and many more. It can also used as a protective agent from nature’s pests both as an insect repellant and insecticide that is both safe and harmless to humans. Neem oil also possesses many beneficial activities it can be applied externally to the hair, scalp, and skin for parasites and as an insect repellant. It can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation in case of arthritic joints.
Application in Cosmetics
Herbal cosmetics have become very popular in the last few years, this is because of the fact that herbs not only have therapeutic value but also devoid of synthetic substances. Neem extract possess the antimicrobial properties thus it is beneficial for skin and hair to achieve clearer skin and get rid of itchy scalp. Neem dry extract as powdered form are used in a number of herbal cosmetics. Acne treating and other skin creams used neem extract to cure acne, blemishes and improve the skin condition as it relieve redness and itching of irritated skin, can lighten scars and pigmentation.
Research References
1) Research article- Potential of Azadirachta indica against Salmonella typhimurium induced inflammation in BALB/ c mice.A. Koul1 , S. Bharrhan2, B. Singh1 and P. Rishi2 (Published online: 26 December 2008). 2) Antifertility Effects of Aqueous and Steroidal Extracts of Neem Leaf (Azadirachta indica) in Male Wistar Rats(*Correspondence to Omkar Parshad, Department of Physiology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, WI) 3) Effects of Azadirachta indica extract on gastric ulceration and acid secretion in rats.

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