The use of medicinal plants for treating certain diseases and ailments has been on the increase from time immemorial. These plants are believed to be nature's pharmacy to us and only require us to acknowledge their powerful abilities in tackling most diseases. Among these medicinal plants is the neem.
Neem, botanically known as Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae) is a common medicinal plant in Nigeria popularly known as Dogonyaro. The dogonyaro tree originated from Southeast Asia before spreading to other countries all over the world.
Dogonyaro tree is a fast growing tree that can even survive very well in any part of the tropics even under any agricultural soil condition. Researchers agree that the neem plant possess antibacterial, anti-tumour, pesticidal, anti-helmintic,sedative,contraceptive, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, which suggest why the plant is very popular in the world.
The dogonyaro tree starts bearing fruits after 3 years but becomes fully matured after 10 years and can bear more than 50kg of fruits every year for up to 100 years. Every part of the neem tree such as the bark, leaves, seeds and fruits can be used as remedy for certain ailment and diseases due to their beneficial medicinal properties.
Benefits of Azadirachta indica (Dogonyaro or Neem)
The presence of edunin and nimbidol compounds make the dogonyaro leaves very destructive to fungi.
Dogonyaro can be used as a vaginal suppository to avoid and control the spread of sexually trasmitted infections.
Dogonyaro is anti-fungal and antibacterial in nature hence the leaves extracts can be used for treating skin infections such as; psoriasis, eczema, scabies and acne.
Dogonyaro trees can be used for erosion control and deforestation.
Dogonyaro helps in the detoxification process of the body, which helps to maintain healthy respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems.
Dogonyaro extracts can be used in making soaps and oils, which when used can help to maintain healthy and glowing skin.
Neem helps with swollen and puffy eyes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Neem oil is antiseptic and antibacterial in nature hence, it is very useful for treating cavities, dandruff, halitosis, gum disease and controlling hair lice.
Boiled neem leaves water can be bathed with by malarial patients.
Researchers agree that dogonyaro is capable of reducing fertility in humans due to its contraceptive properties.
Dogonyaro can act or be used as a spermicide.
Individuals suffering from athletes foot can dip their feet in a warm water containing dogonyaro oil.
Individuals suffering from itchy and dry scalp can wash their hair with boiled neem leaves water but the water has to cool down before being used.
The anti-coccidial properties of neem makes it ideal for use as a pesticide.
Dogonyaro leaves extracts contain antiviral properties that destroy viruses as well as prevent them from growing and spreading to other parts of the body.
Neem oil can be used as nasal drops for treating sinusitis.
Dogonyaro water when mixed with honey and taken first thing every morning for at least 7 days is capable of curing jaundice.
Warm dogonyaro oil when applied to the ears can cure earache.
Dogonyaro can act as a blood cleanser thus stimulates antibody protection to boost the immune system.
Dogonyaro can be used in treating excessive vaginal discharge.
Skin bruises and cuts can be treated using dogonyaro leaves extract to prevent bacterial infection.
Due to the antibacterial properties of dogonyaro, the leaves extract is a trusted and recommended constituents of oral hygiene products, mouthwash and toothpaste.
Dogonyaro can be used to treat food poisoning associated with staphylococcus and salmonella bacteria.
The anti-malarial properties of neem render it suitable for teating malaria. Malaria is presently prevalent in the developing and under-developed countries but remains a global health challenge. The Ibo people of the Eastern part of Nigeria boil the dogonyaro leaves with pawpaw (carica papaya) leaves together for treating malaria. The local name for this anti-malarial drug is ogwu-iba and they believe that this local medicine has a high rate of curing malaria.
Dogonyaro water when taken orally is capable of reducing the insulin level of diabetic patients.
Individuals suffering from hemorrhoids can apply few drops of dogonyaro oil on the affected part.
Dogonyaro tea helps in alleviating and preventing fatigue, aches, sore throat, pains, cough, colds and fever.
The anti-viral ability of dogonyaro makes it very useful for treating viral infection such as hepatitis.
Researchers agree that dogonyaro extracts are capable of lowering the cholesterol levels.
Clinical studies have shown that the dogonyaro extracts can regulate the heart as well as reduce blood pressure.
Several clinical studies with dogonyaro are presently being carried out in various countries to validate some claims of the plants ability to cure certain tough diseases such as cancer and HIV etc.
It is noteworthy that young children below the age of 10 should not drink dogonyaro tea or extracts as it can be detrimental to their body system.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
Onu P. N., Aniebo A. O. (2013), Toxicity and nutritional assessment of aqueous Azadirachta indica (neem) leaf extract in broiler chicks, International Journal of Biosciences, vol.3, no.6, p.172.
Akin-Osanaiye B. C, Nok A. J., Ibrahim S., Inuwa H. M., Onyike E., Amlabu E. and Haruna E., (2013), Antimalarial Effect of Neem Leaf and Neem Stem Bark Extracts on Plasmodium Berghei Infected in the Pathology and Treatment of Malaria, International Journal of Research in Biochemistry and Biophysics, 3(1): 7-8.
Ibrahima H. A., Imama I. A., Bellob A. M., Umara U. , Muhammada S. and Abdullahi S.A,(2012), The Potential of Nigerian Medicinal Plants as Antimalarial Agent: A Review of International Journal of Science and Technology, Volume 2 No.8, p.600.
Mamman, Paul H., Mshelia, Wayuta P., Subatrus, Sosthenes C. and Sambo, Kankani W. (2013), Antibacterial effects of crude extract of Azadirachta indica against Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp and Staphylococcus aureus, International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences Vol. 5(1), pp. 14-15.