Neem (Azadiracta Indica)
The 'neem' leaves are eaten by the Hindus on the New Year day to ward off sickness. The leaves are kept in houses to purify the air. Fresh 'neem' leaves are also tied across the doors and window whenever there is a birth or death in the house to ward off evil spirits and diseases. In older days, travelers used to sleep under the 'neem' trees in the belief that it would keep them healthy during the journey.
The flowers of 'neem' are small, white and honey scented. The fruits of 'neem' are yellow when ripe and are like thick beads. The flowers and juicy fruits of the trees are great attractions for birds and bees. Every part of the tree has medicinal properties and its commercial value is great. The most important product of the 'neem' is the oil that is extracted from its seeds. It is known as 'margoes' oil and is used as an antiseptic and for massage is cases of rheumatism. The gum obtained from the bark is a good stimulate and tonic. Neem twigs are popular tooth-brush in the countryside due to its germicidal and antiseptic properties.