The Neem tree belongs to the mahogany family, Meliaceae, and bears the scientific name of Azadirachta indica. Neem is also known as Nimtree, Indian lilac, and sometimes also referred to as the Wonder Leaf in Indian folklor. As one of two species that exist in the genus of Azadirachta, Neem is native to the Indian Subcontinent that includes Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Seeds and fruits from the Neem tree are used to extract oil that has several applications and health benefits. Neem trees are evergreen and can grow as high as 50 to 60 feet, and are one of the fastest growing trees in the world. Its white-colored flowers are pleasantly fragrant and may elongate up to 10 inches.
All parts of the Neem tree are used in the traditional Ayurveda for a range of purposes. Neem may be turned into a paste form and applied topically on skin, or infused in tea to improve the immunity of the body. Neem powder is known to offer cleansing properties. It may also be dried, crushed, and soaked to extract oil, which is then used in cosmetics, herbal formulas and some food recipes.
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