Azadirachta Indica is a member of Mahogany family belonging to Genus Azadirachta and is native to the dry regions of the Indian sub continent, where it can reach up to the height of 24 m. It has a semi-straight trunk which is 3 m in girth and the branches are thinning out forming a broad crown.
Neem is also known as 'arista' in Sanskrit - a word that means 'perfect, full and imperishable'. The Sanskrit name 'nimba' comes from the word 'nimbatisyasthyamdadati' which means 'to give good health'.
The oil is yellowish-brown to dark-brown in color. It has a very strong odor.
Refractive index at 400 degree Celsius: 1.4705
Specific gravity: 0.934
Saponification value: 205
Iodine value: 65-80
Aciicd value: 15
Unsaponifiable matter: 2%
Titre: 360 degree Celsius
It is extracted either by cold--pressing of the kernels or by pressing the neem cake, using hexane to extract the seeds oil.
It mainly constitutes the essential fatty acids of Oleic, Linoleic, Palmitic and Stearic acid.
Medicinal: Neem is also called wonder plan, because of its medicinal value. The oil contains Mahmoodin, Cyclic trisulphide and Nimbolide compounds which are very effective against the Bacillus subtilis and the Trichoderma harzianumbacterial disease causing pathogens. Due to its coolness and astringent nature, it gives relief from tiredness, cough, fever, and loss of appetite, worm infestation, vomiting and applied on the wounds.
Anti-Malarial: Due to the presence of the compound Azadirachtin it is used in making anti-malarial medicines. The Neem oil is treated on the mosquito nets and mosquito-repellent tablets are now available in market. The neem liminoids like Azadirachtin and deacetylgedunin demonstrate high larvicidal, pupicidal and antiovipositional property.
Oral and hair hygiene: Due to its anti-fungal activity, it is used in various toothpaste, soaps and shampoos to offset any of fungal effect on body.