Neem (Azadirachta indica) has worldwide medicinal and agricultural applications as a non-toxic alternative to synthetic chemicals for both curing and preventing disease.
MEDICINAL uses of neem:
ANTIPATHOGEN- effects are selective against parasites: INSECTS (eg Head Lice, Whitefly, Weevil, Caterpillars, Fleas, Moths), WORMS, FUNGI (eg Athletes Foot, Yeast Infection), BACTERIA (eg Leprosy, Tuberculosis) and VIRUS (eg Malaria, Flu)
SKIN DISEASES (eg eczema, psoriasis),
STORAGE OF GRAINS
PESTICIDE (kills Threadworms (Nematodes), repels Slugs and snails, but is beneficial for spiders, bees, wasps, ladybirds, birds, bats and earthworms)
ANTI-AFLATOXIN (toxin produced by fungus on many common commercial crops such as cotton)
FORESTRY uses: Improvement of soil, Wind breaker, Mulching...
HOUSEHOLD: Pest repellent, Fuel, Soap...
THE VIDEO SOURCES ARE BOTH CANADIAN DOCUMENTARIES
1. The Nature of Things with David Suzuki (1994)
This 46-minute film focuses primarily on the use of neem as insecticide and the discovery of Azadirachtin:
Neem Trees are used for reforestation, because it can grow well in dry conditions and sheds leaves all year round.
Neem is mentioned in the Indian Vedas. Neem is beneficial for all human skin disorders, the skin of animals and plants and the skin of the Earth.
Neem sticks are used as tooth brushes, and neem extracts in toothpaste. Cavities & Periodontitis are caused by bacteria which are killed by neem (ANTIBACTERIAL). Neem is ANTI-INFLAMMATORY & ANTI-ULCEROGENIC (cures inflammation and ulcers).
Fed to livestock it is nutritious, medicinal and ANTHELMINTIC (expels parasitic worms).
It is part of sustainable agriculture as a fertilizer & pesticide. Totally non-toxic to plants, people, birds, fish.
In the fight against malaria, neem acts both as insect repellent & an ANTIMALARIAL (anti-viral oral treatment for infection and relief of symptoms).
Alternative to conventional pesticides (more effective, non-toxic, selective). There is no need for farmers to isolate active ingredients for synthesis. Neem contains hundreds of beneficial compounds complete with packaging. Why were attempts made by large pharmaceutical companies to restrict its use?
2. The Corporation (Mark Achbar 2003)
Vandana Shiva talking about freedom from intellectual property laws. Governments and corporations were restricting use of Neem, so people all over the world successfully fought back.
THE CHALLENGE NOW FOR NEEM- is against monoculture plantation projects that are funded by corporations. Neem has an invaluable role in the biodiversity of our Ecosphere. To grow it in isolation does not benefit other plants or the Neem Trees.. We must cultivate healthy Wild Neem Trees which live with other wildlife and help to support it. Large Corporate Neem Plantations damage land and produce inferior trees, while paying workers slave wages.
THE PROBLEMS WITH PLANTATION NEEM-
Neem's ability to hold water may cause damage to the water table,
The collection of nutrients on top soil may cause salination of the soil.
The neem trees do not have optimal conditions to mature properly and do not generate the same variety of active components.
The land is owned by corporations, who do not pay workers a fair wage.
www.earthworkstrading.co.uk is an excellent UK-based supplier of wild neem from Africa.
Other sources of information: "Neem: The Divine Tree : Azadirachta Indica" by Harbans Singh Puri - 1999
"A TREE FOR SOLVING GLOBAL PROBLEMS" -National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 1992.