Whole neem fruits washed and dried in the shade in India. Soak in water overnight to reconstitute.
Fresh Neem fruit (or drupes) look similar to olives. They have a thin outer skin, a yellow, sweet-ish flesh and a single embedded seed. Neem oil is extracted from the fruit kernel. The fruits are eaten fresh or cooked, or prepared as a dessert or lemonade-type drink. They are often eaten as a pre-meal appetizer. The fruit is bitter-sweet and traditionally used to help treat haemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract disorders, bloody nose, phlegm, eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, (and leprosy!).
A traditional agricultural practice involves the production of neem tea. The seeds are dried, crushed and soaked in water overnight to produce a liquid pesticide that can be applied directly to crops. Crushed seed kernels are also used as a dry pesticide application, especially to control stem borers on young plants ( see pfaf.org)
All parts of the Neem tree have beneficial effects; however, neem may affect different people in different ways, and this information should not be considered a substitute for professional health advice.
In general, use neem for short periods and only for as long as necessary. Test your own tolerance for neem in small incremental steps, and if any signs of sensitivity appear, stop use immediately. Neem is contraindicated for use in people wishing to conceive and should be avoided during pregnancy and breast-feeding due to lack of safety studies.
The seeds, bark and leaf contain active compounds with proven anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-ulcer and anti-fungal properties. There is a large, and increasing, body of scientific research, much of it freely available online, which proves the usefulness of this herb for a variety of ailments.