The History Of The Neem Tree

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The History Of The Neem Tree

Neem Tree

The Many Names for the Neem Tree

The medicinal properties of the Neem tree have been well known in India for over 4,000 years. The healing properties of Neem are spoken about in some of the world’s oldest books. The Sanskrit word for Neem was “nimba,” which means “good health.” The Vedas called Neem “sarva roga nivarini”, which means “one that cures all ailments and ills”.

It has also been referenced as “Divine Tree”, Life giving tree”, “Nature’s Drugstore”, and “Village Pharmacy.”

Neem in the Villages of India

A botanical cousin of the mahogany tree, Neem is  a hardy evergreen that a common feature of the drier regions of India and southeast Asia. It needs very little water but plenty of sunlight. The Neem flowers bare fruits that are green drupes, which turn golden yellow when ripe.

Through history, the Neem tree had many fascinating aspects for the people of India. The Neem tree was a symbol of health. In the sun and heat this evergreen, tree was a haven with its cooling shade. It was also safe from bugs and biting insects because of its natural repellant action. And millions of Indian people have used all parts of this sacred tree as medicinals – the seeds, leaves, flowers, fruits, oil, roots and bark.

The Neem was planted in the vicinity of a home where people interacted with this extraordinary tree daily.

neem seeds

Neem As a Beauty Treatment

For the women, the Neem was the mainstay of the herbal beauty tradition. The Neem proved an invaluable source of health, hygiene and beauty that was freely available.

Having a bath with Neem leaves kept their skin supple and healthy. Neem leaf powder or crushed leaves incorporated into their face packs provided emollient and anti-aging action. The antiseptic properties of Neem leaf extracts helped in controlling pimples and acne.

As a Fertilizer and for Livestock

For the men, the tree provided seeds, leaf and bark which could be converted into fertilizer and pest control material. It also provided medicinal potions for their cattle and livestock.

Neem Leaves

Neem For Home Remedies

The Neem Tree was also a source of medicine to treat more than a hundred health problems, from scratches and skin rashes to malaria and diabetes. The Neem tree was known to relieve so many different pains, fevers, infections and other complaints that it had been called “the village pharmacy.”

The Neem was used in ancient Indian cures to treat inflammation, infections, skin diseases and for dental care. The Neem leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, bark and fruits contain antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antihistamine and antiseptic properties.

Many countries have been sourced for their own unique elixir of ills – Aloe Vera from Mexico, Tea tree from Australia, Ginseng from Korea and Ginkgo biloba from China. According to the Neem Foundation, Neem is likely to exceed them all.

Neem from Africa

JustNeem Body Care and Skin Care products use the healing properties of Neem to restore healthy skin to those suffering from eczema, psoriasis, acne or dry skin. We get our Neem raw goods from Mauritania, West Africa.

Our team regularly travels to Mauritania where we collaborate in a Neem tree planting program initiated in 2007 and centered upon an orchard in the southern village of Kaedi. Since the establishment of this orchard, a solar-powered water pump and well have been built, and more than 2,000 Neem trees have been both planted within the orchard, and distributed locally to community members. Read more about Our Mission.

Information sourced from The Neem Foundation, 2008.

Neem Trees
2017-04-26T12:02:38+00:00 Tags: |

About the Author:

Owner & COO // Magda is a graduate of UNC. She has a creative and brilliant mind, one that insisted in beginning and developing a company that used Neem infused Skin Care Products. That company is now JustNeem. She researched the best possible applications of Neem's benefits in skin care. Her experience and knowledge is one to be desired.


  1. Levies April 18, 2018 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    Hi, I am from Namibia. We have a similar tree, the Seringtree, is it the same tree as the Neem tree?

  2. Kris June 26, 2015 at 12:18 PM - Reply

    Hi, My 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with vulvar Lichen sclerosus last week. She has mild irritation and her skin color has turned white in the area. We are holistic family taking great care of health and well being. I am looking for good options to heal her naturally without steroids. Can you please recommend anything that will clear up her skin to natural color and health. I will greatly appreciate your response and help.

    • jordan June 29, 2015 at 11:41 AM - Reply


      Thank you so much for your inquiry! We actually have a customer who was diagnosed with the same skin irritation, and she reports having success using the Neem Cure Neem oil a few times per day on the affected area. You could also try mixing a few drops of the Neem Cure with one of our lotions and applying it that way.

      I hope that helps!

      Thank you!


  3. Mutawakilu Abdulai March 12, 2014 at 5:08 PM - Reply

    in my country Ghana,West Africa there is good land for planting neem if need to extend come to ghana so that we can also benefit from your initiative.thank you

    • leslie March 14, 2014 at 8:56 AM - Reply

      Hi Mutawakilu! What a beautiful invitation. Thank you so much. We certainly still have much to do in Mauritania but love the idea. Thank you.

  4. wenny July 10, 2013 at 6:14 AM - Reply

    hi i have mild acne, would like to know what and how to use Neem skin care products for acne ,thanks

  5. Beauty salon Tunbrid July 9, 2013 at 7:06 AM - Reply

    I appreciate your research about the Neem Tree’s history and their benifits .
    Neem tree have importance in Indian’s history . now days so many beauty products made with different benefiacial trees where neem tree plays vital role in beauty treatment.
    I would like to add one point that if you take the bath with neem its not only helps to feel fresh also help to remove itching from your body
    Use the neem in your bath who have itching problem its very benificial.

  6. […] See our other gift items. And remember, our gifts give back too. Every purchase you make helps us create income opportunities in West Africa. Find out more about the history of Neem. […]

  7. […] See our other gift items. And remember, our gifts give back too. Every purchase you make helps us create income opportunities in West Africa. Find out more about the history of Neem. […]

  8. Ask The Neem Team November 10, 2011 at 8:13 AM - Reply

    […] you are looking to nature for healthy skin, you may find it in the benefits of the Neem Tree. Its rich history as a beauty treatment for the skin goes back thousands of years. Would you like to know how […]

  9. JustNeem Gift Ideas That Give Back November 3, 2011 at 5:21 AM - Reply

    […] of it’s healing properties and history in medicinal practices, Neem is the base for all our […]

  10. Neem Gift Of The Week: Soap Six-Pack October 30, 2011 at 10:04 AM - Reply

    […] For over 4000 years, women in India have relied upon Neem for flawless skin. Learn more about the history of Neem. […]

  11. Magda October 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    Hi Brenda,

    Neem trees only grow in areas with no frost in the winter. So, the only places in the US where these trees grow, is southern Florida, and even there, it is sometimes tricky, because they do get frost once in a great while. We have planted our trees in pots to take into the garage for the wintertime. That helps.

    The Neem Cure would work really well with your toe fungus. We have had many customers buy it for just that reason. If you live anywhere close to Birmingham, AL and shop at the Whole Foods there, would you ask for the JustNeem Neem Cure? It would be so cool if they would add on our product line.

    Take care!

  12. Brenda Lamb Corley October 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM - Reply

    Hey, Magda!

    I was just wondering if that Neem Tree would grow in the U.S.? Do you know?

    Also, I have a toenail fungus on one toe and it’s disgusting and I can’t seem to get rid of it. Would a Neem product make it go away?

    Hope you guys are fully blessed. You so deserve it.


    • PAMELA February 16, 2013 at 6:07 AM - Reply

      canestin is very good for nail infection.

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