Azadirachta indica

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Neem leaves have a significant medicinal value
Species name: Azadirachta indica

Neem is a tropical and sub-tropical plant which is highly drought resistant. The plant has several medicinal and commercial applications and finds significance in Hinduism. Neem cultivation also has a role to play in agriculture and pest management.


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm
Date on which this page was first created 2010/08/12
This page was last modified on: 2 October 2010 05:34:34
Name of the species Azadirachta indica
ID on Encyclopedia of Life
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Neem
Common Hindi Names नीम Neem
Common Indian names नीम Neem (Hindi); নীম Neem (Manipuri); Nimbay (Marathi);வேப்பை Veppai, Sengumaru (Tamil); Ariyaveppu (Malayalam); వెపా Vepa (Telugu); Turakabevu (Kannada); Neem (Bengali); Neem (Urdu); নীম Neem (Assamese); ધનુજઝાડ Dhanujhada, Limba (Gujarati); Pakvakrita, nimbaka (Sanskrit) Flowers of India
Origins/Meanings of the common names

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

If nothing is displayed in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined. Please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:}} 

Taxonomy filled in form

Angiosperm phylogeny. This image is copyrighted. Rights owned by Theodore C.H.Cole (Heidelberg) and Hartmut H. Hilger (Berlin) 2010. Please obtain copyright permissions before reuse.
Click here for the PDF of the phylogeny
Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Sapindales
Family Meliaceae
Genus Azadirachta
Source of data '

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivisionCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aloe veraAloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plantGheekumari घीकुमारी
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaAshokaअशोक Ashok
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliophytaAlso called Angiospermae. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-100 million years ago.These are seed plants like Gymnosperms, but can be differentiated by the presence of flowers, seeds containing endosperm and seeds that produce a fruit. Angiosperms are the most diverse and highly evolutionarily successful group of land plants.
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaMagnoliopsidaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaMagnoliopsidaAshokaअशोक Ashok
Adansonia digitataMagnoliopsidaBaobabGorakh imli गोरख इमली
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliopsidaMagnoliopsida is the scientific name for dicots. This class contains about ~1,99,350 species of Angiosperms. Eudicots are a subset of Dicots. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences, the divergence date between monocots and dicots is estimated to be ~200 million years, with a 40 million years uncertainty.Dicots are diverse in habit, with half of all the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of the usual presence of a vascular cambium in the class. Annuals, biennials, vines, epiphytes, aquatics, parasites, and saprotrophs are also well represented in dicots. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually borne in a ring that encloses the pith. Vessel elements present except in some putatively primitive woody or aquatic families. Most dicots have a primary root system derived from the radicle, although some have an adventitious root system commonly seen in the class of monocots. Cotyledons are usually 2, seldom 1, 3, or 4. Leaves are mostly net-veined.
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aegle marmelosSapindalesBel, Beli fruit, Bengal quince, Stone apple, Wood appleबेल Bel
Anacardium occidentaleSapindalesCashewकाजू Kaju
Murraya exoticaSapindalesChinese box, Orange JasmineKamini कामिनी
… further results
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Azadirachta indicaMeliaceaeNeemनीम Neem
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Azadirachta indicaAzadirachtaNeemनीम Neem

Based on classification

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Morphology from Encyclopedia of Life

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General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the plant Tree, up to 15 m tall. Branches glabrous. Leaves imparipinnate, pulvi¬nus at the base; leaflets alternate to opposite, 2.5-7 cm long, 1.5-4 cm broad, ovate, subsessile, acuminate. Flowers white, sweet-scented. Sepals obovate, 1.5 mm long, puberulous, imbricate. Petals 6 mm long, obvoate to oblong, white, margin ciliate. Staminal tube c. 5 mm long, puberulous, 10-striate, 10-toothed; teeth 2-lobed; anthers oblong, basifixed. Ovary sub-globose; style linear, c. 2.5 mm long; stigma trifid. Drupe oblong, 1.3-2 cm long, greenish-yellow, 1-seeded."Tree, up to 15 m tall. Branches glabrous. Leaves imparipinnate, pulvi¬nus at the base; leaflets alternate to opposite, 2.5-7 cm long, 1.5-4 cm broad, ovate, subsessile, acuminate. Flowers white, sweet-scented. Sepals obovate, 1.5 mm long, puberulous, imbricate. Petals 6 mm long, obvoate to oblong, white, margin ciliate. Staminal tube c. 5 mm long, puberulous, 10-striate, 10-toothed; teeth 2-lobed; anthers oblong, basifixed. Ovary sub-globose; style linear, c. 2.5 mm long; stigma trifid. Drupe oblong, 1.3-2 cm long, greenish-yellow, 1-seeded." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. Encyclopedia of Life
Seed dispersal mechanism
Bloom type Perennial
Life cycle of the plant

How to identify this species

For a detailed description, refer to the General Morphology details above

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Type of plant Woody (Tree/Shrub)
Plant height More than 10 feet Gauravm
Flower color White
Flower shape
Floral symmetry
Phyllotaxy of leaves Opposite
Leaf shape Pinnately compound Wikipedia
Is the leaf petiolated or sessile? Petiolated Based on Commons Images
Is the leaf simple or compound? Compound Wikipedia

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status Not Evaluated EoL
Indian States in which the species has been documented Assam,Andhra Pradesh,Arunachal Pradesh,Bihar,Chandigarh,Chhatisgarh,Delhi,Goa,Gujarat,Jammu and Kashmir,Karnataka,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,Manipur,Meghalaya,Mizoram,Orissa,Pondicherry,Punjab,Rajasthan,Tamil Nadu,Tripura,Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal Plants Database, Gauravm
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited Northeastern Himalayas, Northwestern Himalayas, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, Central Deccan Plateau, Indo-Gangetic Plain Plants Database of India
Details about the habitat Mainly a tropical and subtropical species, it grows mainly in low-lying areas and wooded areas in India and Sri Lanka. Neem is known to grow well under less water availability and thus is a hardy species. The species has been naturalized now in several other countries like Indonesia and Australia.

The plant is found growing along road sides, near temples, wooded areas, forest edges, gardens, deciduous forests etc.

Herb2000, Plants Database of India
Is this species native to India? Yes Wikipedia
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats?

More plants native to India

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi namePlant typeNative plantBiotic zone
Abelmoschus moschatusOkra, Abelmosk, Ambrette seeds, Annual hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk mallow, Musk okra, Musk seeds, Ornamental okra, Rose mallow seeds, Tropical jewel hibiscus, Yorka okraमुश्कदाना Mushkdana, कस्तूरीदाना Kasturi-dana, जंगली भिंडी Jangli bhindi
Acacia concinnaSoap podशिकाकाई ShikakaiWoody (Tree/Shrub)Northeastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats
Central Deccan Plateau
East Coast
West Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Acrostichum aureumGolden leatherfern, Mangrove fernFernNortheastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
East Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Outlying Islands
Allium sativumCultivated Garlicलेह्सन Lehsan
Alpinia allughasTaraTara (Bengali)HerbNortheastern Himalayas
… further results

If no maps are displayed below, it means the required data is absent. Click on "Edit with form" button on top of the page to add this information.
{{#generateMap:Assam,Andhra Pradesh,Arunachal Pradesh,Bihar,Chandigarh,Chhatisgarh,Delhi,Goa,Gujarat,Jammu and Kashmir,Karnataka,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,Manipur,Meghalaya,Mizoram,Orissa,Pondicherry,Punjab,Rajasthan,Tamil Nadu,Tripura,Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal|Azadirachtaindica_brahma.svg|align=center}}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any medicinal use? Yes

Other plants of the same family having medicinal use:

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi nameFamilyAilment typeMedicinal use description
Azadirachta indicaNeemनीम NeemMeliaceaeInfectious diseases
Systemic disorders
Organ-specific disorders
Cancer
Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General types of ailments this species is used for treating Infectious diseases, Systemic disorders, Organ-specific disorders, Cancer
Specific ailments for which the species is used Malaria, Diabetes, Worms, Cardiovascular diseases, Skin diseases, Contraceptive, Antiulcer, Fungicidal Drugs.com
Medicinal systems which use this plant Ayurveda, Unani, Folk Medicine, Modern Medicine Wikipedia
Details of Medicinal use
Parts of the plant used for treatment Root, Stem, Bark, Leaves, Flower, Fruit, Seeds Dr. Duke, Himalaya
Names of some medicinal active compounds in this plant, if known. Azadirachtin, Beta-Sitosterol, Kaempferol, Quercitin, Myricetin, Nimbidin Dr. Duke, Himalaya, Drugs.com, Google Scholar
Details of the active chemical compounds found in this plant While the chemicals from Neem oil are known, their molecular basis of action is still unknown.

Over 700 medicinal preparations have been described in ethnobotanical medicinal systems using Neem. Several sterols and terpenoids have been found in different parts of the Neem plant. Beta-Sitosterol, KAEMPFEROL, QUERCETIN, MYRICETIN present in the flower and leaf, Azadirachtin, NIMBIDIN present in the seed and stem bark have medicinal values, along with several other chemicals cited in the references. These chemicals can be extracted in the Neem oil, obtained from seed and fruit of the plant.

Dr. Duke, Himalaya, Drugs.com, Google Scholar
Is the molecular basis of the medicinal action known? Yes
Details of molecular basis of action
Are the toxic effects of consumption of this plant known? Yes Drugs.com
Details of the toxic effects of the plant species Large doses of Neem seeds are reported to have toxic effects on children. No effects have been found in adults. Drugs.com
Have there been validation/clinical studies related to this plant? Yes Himalaya
Details of the clinical studies related to the plant species Clinical trials were conducted on 9 patients of congestive heart failure with anasarca to study the diuretic effect of sodium nimbidinate. Four other patients were also studied as controls on the same lines with bed rest, low sodium diet and adequate digitalization without any diuretic. Eight of the patients showed a definite diuretic response. The control group did not show any diuresis. No toxic reaction was noted except local discomfort or slight pain. Himalaya

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant/plant-derived product used in food preparations? Yes User-reported
Part(s) of the plant used in the food preparations Stem, Flower
Details of use in food preparations The tender shoots and flowers of the neem tree are eaten as a vegetable in India. Neem flowers are very popular for their use in Ugadi Pachhadi (soup-like pickle), which is made on Ugadi day in the South Indian States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. A souplike dish called Veppampoo Rasam (Tamil) (translated as "neem flower rasam") made of the flower of neem is prepared in Tamil Nadu.
Does this species have any religious significance? Yes User-reported
Religions which mention/give significance to this species Hinduism Gauravm
Religious occasions Gudhi Padwa, Mariamman Wikipedia
Details of religious use [[Religious use description::Neem leaf or bark is considered an effective पित्त pitta (heat) pacifier due to its bitter taste. Hence, it is traditionally recommended during early summer in Ayurveda, and during Gudi Padva, which is the New Year in the state of Maharashtra, the ancient practice of drinking a small quantity of neem juice or paste on that day, before starting festivities, is found. As in many Hindu festivals and their association with some food to avoid negative side-effects of the season or change of seasons, neem juice is associated with Gudi Padva to remind people to use it during that particular month or season to pacify summer heat. In Tamil Nadu during the summer months of April to June, the Mariamman temple festival is a thousand year old tradition. The Neem leaves and flowers are the most important part of the Mariamman festival. The goddess Mariamman statue will be garlanded with Neem leaves and flowers. During most occasions of celebrations and weddings the people of Tamilnadu adorn their surroundings with the Neem leaves and flowers as a form of decoration and also to ward off evil spirits and infections.]] Wikipedia

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant cultivated commercially in India? Yes Gauravm
Uses for which the plant is commercially cultivated Human consumption, Agricultural use, Medicinal use, Cosmetic use, Religious use Gauravm
Plant parts of commercial value Root, Stem, Bark, Leaves, Flower, Fruit, Seeds Based on Himalaya
Products where this plant is used User-reported
Description of use Neem leaf and stem extracts are used for medicinal purposes as noted above. Due to insect-repellant properties of Azadirachtin, it is often put in stores grains to prevent pest infestation. Neem extracts are also used in cosmetic products such as shampoos, creams and soaps. Himalaya, Google
States where this plant is cultivated commercially
Best period for planting this plant
Best period for harvesting this plant
Method of propagation
Water requirement of this plant Low Wikipedia
Pests and Diseases affecting this plant during cultivation
Other considerations while cultivating this plant


Pubmed Word cloud

This word cloud is obtained using the tool LigerCat by searching the Pubmed database. LigerCat builds the cloud from the most relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms. Each term's relative size indicates how many times it appears in the PubMed search results. Click on a term to access the full LigerCat cloud, with live PubMed search capabilities. LigerCat has been developed for the Biology of Aging Project.

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  • If there is an error message below, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 10000.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue

{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Azadirachta indica }}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Details of modern scientific knowledge available for this species Microsatellite DNA sequences are available in NCBI Entrez (Aug 12, 2010). However a large amount of pharmacological information is available about the constituents and effects of Neem oil (Wikipedia). Most studies have specifically studies Azadirachtin or whole seed oil. Not a lot is known about the molecular basis of action of these chemicals. NCBI Taxonomy, Wikipedia, Google Scholar
Are herbarium specimen available for this species?
Institutes having herbarium samples

References

Dr. Duke (Web): Chemicals present in Neem, Accessdate=2010-08-12


Himalaya (Web): Herbal Monographs:Neem, Accessdate=2010-08-12


Drugs.com (Web): Neem entry on Drugs.com, Accessdate=2010-08-10


Herb2000 (Web): Herbs2000 entry on Neem, Accessdate=2010-08-13