Azadirachta indica A.Juss - syn.Melia azadirachta L. - Meliaceae - neem, nimtree, Niem-Baum, Neem
Evergreen tree of dry regions of India, 15-20m tall, naturalized in West Africa, America, Australia; leaves alternate, 20–40cm long, leaflets dark green, serrated; flowers whitish to cream coloured.
„Products made from neem trees have been used in India for over two millennia for their medicinal properties…
Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics such as soap, shampoo, balms and creams as well as toothpaste.“
„Hence, this study only found limited evidence that neem is a major weed overseas. While it has escaped cultivation and become naturalised in a number of countries, its impact is poorly documented…
Neem trees are grown commercially in plantations to produce azadirachtin, a chemical extracted from the seeds and leaves. Azadirachtin has been promoted as a new insecticide that is considered more ‘environmentally friendly’ than synthetic insecticides. Plantations have been established in tropical to subtropical regions of the world, including semi-arid and wet tropical regions, from sea level to about 700 m elevation (NRC 1992). After the oil has been pressed from the seeds, the residue (‘neem cake’) can be used in cattle and poultry feed. Neem is also used in silviculture in India and for reforestation in Asia, Central America and the sub-Saharan region.“ [Pest plant risk assessment Neem Tree, Azadirachta indica. Steve Csurhes, Biosecurity Queensland. 2008] http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/63168/IPA-Neem-Tree-Risk-Assessment.pdf
„The volatile components of the flowers of A. Indica had a strong sulphury smell. The main components were sesquiterpenes, δ-cadinene (9.43%), copaene (7.03%), humulene (3.70%), δ-cubebene (3.04%)… Ethyl laurate and ethyl ester of high molecular fatty acids and high molecular weight of hydrocarbons were also found. There were 21 organosulphurs detected, in which a number of unidentified components were picked up by the S34isotope peak of the parent ions. The organosulphur components found were similar to those found in the neem seed oil obtained by steam distillation (Mubarak and Kulatilleke, 1992; Balandrin et al., 1988).“ cis- (8.8%) and trans-3,5-diethyl-1,2-4-trithiolan (8.8%) were identified.
[Essential oil of the flower of Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae)., Aromdee, C., Anorach, R., Sriubolmas, N., In III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants-Volume 5: Quality, Efficacy, Safety, Processing and Trade in Medicinal Vol.679, 2003, 11-14] http://rdo.psu.ac.th/sjstweb/journal/28-1/11_Azadirachta_indica.pdf
„…the millions of small, star-like, whitish or cream-colored flowers, which grow in panicles in the axils of the leaves, emitted clouds of a characteristic aromatic, white-floral scent with a pronounced honey note. This scent is mainly based on the combination of linalool, 2-phenylacetaldehyde, 2-phenylethyl alcohol and derivatives, and 2-nitroethyl benzene.“
[Meaningful Scents around the World, Roman Kaiser, Zürich 2006, 167 and 217-218]
Emulsions with neem seed extracts have significant killing effects of larvae and adults of head lice.
„… neem-based shampoo blocked the aeropyles of the eggs, thus preventing the embryos of both races of lice from accessing oxygen and from releasing carbon dioxide. Thus, this product offers a complete cure from head lice upon a single treatment, if the lice (motile stages, eggs) are fully covered for about 10 min.“
[Ovicidal effects of a neem seed extract preparation on eggs of body and head lice. Mehlhorn, H., Abdel-Ghaffar, F., Al-Rasheid, K. A., Schmidt, J., Semmler, M., Parasitology research, Vol.109(5), 2011, 1299-1302]
Koorders S.H., Valeton T., Atlas der Baumarten von Java, vol.1, t.164 (1913) [M.Mangoendimedjo]