Kolkata: A widely used plant in the Indian household, neem is undeniably a sacred gift of nature which is beneficial to us in many ways. This omnipotent plant holds profound cultural and historical significance within the Indian society, deeply rooted in their traditional Ayurvedic medicine, rituals, and customs.
Used by many for various household purposes, neem is often known as a multipurpose plant. Different parts of a neem plant can be used for different reasons, like neem bark is used for treating dental issues, neem flowers are used as a vegetable in dishes, neem seeds are used as a medicine, and neem leaves are often used to treat skin diseases. Unquestionably, neem stands as an unparalleled natural remedy for an array of health concerns, owed to its impressive antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chef Kunal Kapoor says, “As a chef, I am always on a quest for new recipes with different spices and herbs and I love using Neem dishes. From neem juice to adding neem leaves to the usual kadha to making various traditional delicacies, neem has been an inseparable part of our lives. Not only for cooking, but I also find neem to be an omnipotent herb as we use it for several purposes like cleaning and keeping my kitchen floors fresh and germ-free.”
Chef Kunal Kapoor says, “While cleaning my home I use a neem-based floor cleaner such as ITC Nimyle which has 100%* natural action and leaves my floor fresh, clean, and fragrant. For me personally, a clean living and workspace is very essential for overall well-being.”
Here are some of the ways neem can be used in our households:
Natural Medicinal Properties: Neem holds a crucial place in traditional medicine and Ayurveda due to its potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, offering a natural remedy for various health issues. To use neem as a medicine, one can prepare neem leaves tea by boiling a handful of fresh leaves in water, which can help boost immunity and detoxify the body.
Eco-Friendly Pesticide: As a biopesticide, neem is environmentally friendly, providing an effective and safe alternative to harmful chemical pesticides in agriculture. To use neem as an eco-friendly pesticide, create a neem oil spray by mixing neem oil with water and a few drops of dish soap. Apply the solution to plants to repel pests and protect them naturally without harming beneficial insects.
Skin and Hair Care: Neem’s exceptional skincare properties, including its ability to combat acne, soothe skin irritations, and promote hair health, make it an essential ingredient in numerous cosmetic and personal care products. Neem oil can be applied topically for skin conditions like acne and fungal infections due to its natural antiseptic properties.
Oral Hygiene: Neem’s natural antibacterial characteristics contribute to improved oral health, making it a popular ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash formulations. For oral hygiene, one can use neem twigs as a natural toothbrush, known as “neem datun,” which helps promote gum health and fights against bacteria. Moreover, gargling with neem-infused water proves effective in reducing oral infections and combating bad breath.
Gut Health: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in neem help remove toxins and cleanses your system. It is a well-known fact that eating neem leaves in the morning can be great for gut health and it aids regulating blood sugar levels, reduction of acne and improves immunity.
*100% natural anti-bacterial action basis in vitro study.