Neem is a magical tree. Nowadays it becomes an important tree due to the growth of the organic sector. It is an important tree for organic farming, herbal cosmetics, Ayurveda medicines etc. It is also used to make various home remedies. You can find neem trees in almost every village in India. But people who are living in India often face difficulties getting neem leaves. Young neem leaves are available during late Spring or early summer in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Bengali people eat those young neem leaves during that time. It’s really a wonderful tree. But do you know what is called neem in English?
Neem in English
Neem tree is native to the Indian subcontinent and countries in Africa. So it is also known as Neem in English. The word ‘Neem’ came from the Sanskrit word ‘Nimba’.
The scientific name of the neem tree is Azadirachta Indica.
How to grow neem trees in containers/pots
Neem is a hardy tree. I mean to say that it does not need any special care. I just add a handful of compost fertilizer after every 2-3 months. Apart from that, I apply mustard cake liquid fertilizer 3 times a month. This tree does get affected by any insect or fungal attack very easily. If any then I apply homemade organic dashparni ark 2-3 times. For fungal attacks, I apply sour buttermilk (a piece of copper dipped into the buttermilk) 3 times a month. It is all about its care. If your neem tree is matured enough and you see buds on your tree and you may need to spray any organic micronutrients. My two trees are almost 4-5 years old. But I did not notice any buds on my tree. Though normally tree starts flowering when it is approx 5 years old. So I am expecting flowers within 1-2 years.
I use various parts of those trees for various recipes and make something for my body, skin, hair, my garden and my stomach too.
Neem based food recipes
Many people will raise their eyebrows if they heard about food dishes prepared with neem leaves. But neem begun is a popular dish in West Bengal as well as Bangladesh. I love it a lot during late Spring or early summer. Every neem tree is covered with young leaves during March & April. Those young leaves are not so bitter. So those are stir-fried along with small pieces of brinjal. It is a tasty dish during the month of March & April. It helps in our taste development and detoxifying our blood. This dish is very beneficial for our health. Actually, I think only Bengali people eat such dishes. I was searching for neem leaves in the market when I was living in Delhi. But I could not find it. Somebody advised me to visit some markets where a large number of Bengali people living.
Some people make neem jhol with neem leaves. But I do not like it and even without trying the dish, I can say I don’t like neem jhol. I am happy with neem begun.
Neem remedies for skin, hair etc
Neem oil is beneficial for our skin as well as our hair. That is why many people use neem oil to make various homemade herbal cosmetics. Many people boil neem leaves in water along with some other ingredients (turmeric, tulsi, cinnamon, rose petals etc). They use that extract for applying on skin or hair. Many people add ale vera gel to this. It is said that neem helps us to protect our skin from acne, pimple & fungal infection too. Neem extracts help us to remove dandruff from our skulls and protect our hair. Nowadays many companies use neem extracts or neem oil to make various herbal products for our health, skin, hair etc. That is why many people also started neem farming.
Neem insecticide recipes for plants
If you want to do organic farming. Then you have to use neem oil, neem extracts and neem cake. Without using those you can not do organic farming or natural farming successfully. I am growing two neem trees for this purpose. I harvest young leaves for making neem begun and then collect old leaves and branches to get neem extracts. I use plenty of neem parts for making dashaprni ark, neemastra, Brahmastra, agniastra etc. All of those are natural insecticides. Those are very effective and less expensive. I make those insecticides two or three times a year and store those for the next 5-6 months. I also use neem cakes which are produced from neem fruits. I buy those from the market to apply in potting mix.