Neem Balls

“It is horrendous to gorge oneself on extremely bitter balls”, this was the thought we all had in unison when we were asked to swallow marble-sized neem balls in an empty stomach in the morning. Our grand mother tried various methods by sprinkling tiny sugar crystals over these emerald green balls, or promising us a “paal” icecream stick (creamy milky ice cream) in the afternoon or a movie show in the evening, etc. But all her tactics usually went in vain as older children escaped from her clutches and young kids just spat them all out.

Nowadays we are buying neem capsules from an Ayurvedic dispensary, people are eager to grow a neem tree in their backyard, or searching for a neem tree in their neighborhood as various parts of neem tree have anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerous properties.

Amazing facts on neem trees:

Neem trees are called as kalpa vriksha (a wish fulfilling tree) and are popularly known as sarva roga nivarani (it cures all the ailments).

  • Neem tree has been declared as the Tree of the 21st century by the United Nations and regarded as the tree for solving global problems.
  • Neem trees help in restoring and maintaining soil fertility.
  • Neem trees keep the surrounding air clean and thereby control the environmental pollution.
  • The temperature under the neem tree is approximately 10° C less than the surrounding temperature.
  • Neem tree shade not only cools but also prevents the occurrence of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses & fungi.

Ayurvedic properties of neem leaves:

Taste (rasa)Bitter (tikta) & astringent (kashaya)
Quality (guna)Dry (rooksha) and light to digest (laghu)
Potency (veerya)Cold (sheeta)
Effects on dosha
Balances pitta & kapha (pitta-kaphakara) and
increases vata (vatakrut)
BenefitsImproves digestion (agnikrut)
Treats worm infestation (krumihara)
Cleanses & detoxifies (vishanut)
Relieves thirst (truthara)
Heals & dries the wounds (vranahara)
Treats skin diseases (kushtahara)
Lowers blood sugar (mehanut)
Treats respiratory disorders (kasahara)

Neem balls are generally prepared by grinding fresh neem leaves after sprinkling some water, but some may add a small piece of turmeric and/or a couple of shallots. It is recommended to take a neem ball once a year or once in 6 months but not quite often, and pregnant women should avoid taking neem balls.

My father preferred to chew a few tender neem leaves that are more astringent than bitter regularly.

Earlier we were asked to take bath using neem water (prepared by immersing a handful of neem leaves in a bucketful of warm water kept for an hour) during summer to keep us cool and also to protect us from the episodes of prickly heat, chicken pox, etc.

Now we are using bath soaps made using neem oil.

Besides there are plenty of neem products like neem chewing sticks, tooth powder, face cream, shampoo, insect repellents, etc. available in the market.


129 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicole Joan says:

    Nice read,it’s called mwarobaini in my country. It is believed to cure 40 diseases I don’t know which ones but yes I use it on stomach aches mostly. check out my blog i have nominated you for an award.

    1. Megala says:

      Sounds great! Thank you so much for stopping by and also for the nomination. I will check out your blog asap.

  2. Timelesslady says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful plant. I don’t know if I can grow one outdoors, but maybe indoors in winter, out for summer in my country would work. I didn’t know about the health benefits. Thank you again,

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, I do wonder whether this tree can withstand the cold temperature during winter, but it is really worth the attempt.
      I’m glad you find this post useful, thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      1. Timelesslady says:

        Thanks you in return for such good blog posts. 😊

  3. Such interesting health properties of these neem leaves! Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you!

  4. anne leueen says:

    This is so interesting. I like to use a shampoo with Neem and a herbal spray that has neem on my horse Biasini. He gets a bad reaction to insect bites and the neem helps to calm his skin. Also the neem keeps away the biting flies.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, neem has been used in veterinary medicine in India not only for anti parasitic property but also for the healing properties. It was mentioned in Mahabharatha, an epic composed around 300 BC, that neem leaves & oil were used to treat wounded horses & elephants during the battle of Mahabharata.
      It is no wonder that you, as a horse addict, have chosen neem products for your dearest Biasini. 🙂
      Thanks much for sharing your account on neem products here.

  5. Too good and such great properties of Neem never knew this, Megala so informative and so many healthy benefits. Thanks so much for your valuable share.

    1. Megala says:

      Glad you feel so, thanks much.

      1. Welcome dear.

  6. Hi Megala!
    I hope you enjoy knowing that I have named your blog for Liebster Award

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

  7. This is all new to me but sounds like a good tree to be growing in the garden!

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, indeed! Thanks Amanda.

  8. nancyc says:

    I’ve never heard of neem trees or all their health benefits-thanks for sharing!

    1. Megala says:

      Pleasure is all mine. Thanks for reading this post.

  9. This post helped me in remembering all the benefits of neem which my grandma would tell me.

    1. Megala says:

      Oh! I’m glad to hear this, thanks much.

  10. Very informative! 😊 I use Neem toothpaste. I’d read about all of its benefits. Thank you for the comprehensive list. It reminds me to incorporate it into my life more.

    1. Megala says:

      Nice to know that you are using neem paste. Earlier our ancestors used neem twig as tooth brush and they never used any denture even in their 80s or 90s. 🙂
      I’m glad you find this post useful, thank you so much for stopping by.

      1. That’s fascinating that the teeth stayed so healthy into the later years. That’s what I’m aiming for! 😊

      2. Megala says:

        Oh! You may try out the organic neem chew sticks available online.

      3. Sonya says:

        Cool! 😊 Thanks!

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