Medicinal Uses of the Neem Plant

By Chelsea Hoffman

The neem plant is actually a fast-growing tree that reaches heights as tall as 65 feet. It is an evergreen tree, meaning it never loses its green foliage, regardless of weather change. It is found commonly in tropical and subtropical climates like India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It is one of the most recognized medicinal plants in the world, and is used for a variety of ailments.

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Enormous neem tree that is half yellow and half green


Neem leaf-Azadirachta indica
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Close up of a neem leaf

The leaves, twigs, berries and blossoms of the neem tree can be used in making antiseptic toothpastes, mouthwashes and poultices. It has microbacterial-fighting agents that prevent tooth and gum disease.


Neem Datun and Leaves Isolated
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Neem datun and leaves

In ancient practice, oil distilled from the leaves, berries and bark of the neem tree was used as a spermicidal lubricant. The spermicidal properties of neem oil are potent.

Skin Problems

Herbal Medicine Concept
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Neem leaves, bottle of oil, mortar and pestle

When neem oil is applied as an astringent to boils, sores and scrapes, it helps in speeding up the healing process. Studies in Germany have shown that neem plant oil is effective in treating herpes and cold sore outbreaks.


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Woman pouring oil in her hand for a back massage

Neem oil makes a great massage oil. When massaged into the muscles it has antiseptic properties that help the body relieve itself of toxins. It is a great oil to use in massage if the person suffers from conditions like fibromyalgia and other pain-related issues.


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Woman with a bruise on her upper thigh

Oil distilled from the neem tree is effective in treating bruises. When applied to the affected area it promotes blood circulation which takes the bruised coloration away.

Antifungal Properties

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Man scratching his athlete's foot

The neem plant is often used for its antifungal properties. It can be applied to athlete's foot, jock itch and other fungi that attack the human body.


Plants growing from soil- Plant progress
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Neem plants beginning to grow

Neem oil is an effective and gentle treatment for scabies infections. When mixed with turmeric into a paste and applied to the skin and hair, it will eliminate the scabies infestation without risk of injury--unlike some prescription medications for the same condition.