Saturday, June 20, 2009
Neem tree (Azadirachta indicahi)
What did people do before toothpaste came into being? Go around with bad breath?
South asians had a simple solution - every morning they crushed a few neem leaves and used it to 'brush' their teeth (with neem twigs serving as the brush). No wonder then that the neem is so widespread in India. It has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a host of ailments and is thought to have astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-imflammatory properties. What more do you need for healthy teeth and strong gums?!
The leaves of the neem are used as pesticides. The aroma of the leaves that spreads with the wind is said to have a therapeutic effect, which is another reason why this tree was widely planted all over the region. The neem tree is native to India.