The bark of selected trees is harvested, shredded and washed in spring water 3 times before being dried in the shade of the Indian sun. Shredded neem bark can be chewed, used to make a tea or made into a powder (see recipes under Neem Bark Powder)
In the Indian tradition, Neem Bark has three main uses:
- the bark and twigs are chewed to maintain oral health,
- It is used for heartburn and indigestion as it reduces gastric acid secretion and prevents oxidative damage to the stomach lining.
- It has traditional use as an analgesic or painkiller, for joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome
In addition, the polysaccharides in neem bark have been found to possess anti-tumour and interferon-inducing (antiviral) activities.
Please be aware that, although all parts of the Neem Tree have beneficial effects 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.