He also says dried neem leaves are also crushed into a powder and mixed with manure to also help keep unwanted pests.
According to Murungi, the neem leaves have antibacterial properties and are believed to work wonders on infections, burns and any kind of skin infection by destroying the bacteria that cause infection and strengthens the immune system and encourages rapid healing.
Most parts of the neem tree are bitter, with the exception of the flowers which have a sweet scent. The flowers which can be used fresh, dried, roasted or in powdered form can be used to cook a number of dishes and sprinkled on top of dishes to garnish. The flowers are also used to treat anorexia, nausea, belching and intestinal worms.
Murungi says neem also treats acne. “When Neem paste is applied on the face, it works as an excellent exfoliant and can shrink the pole size thus preventing development of blemishes and pimples. The paste is known to eliminate much of grease and bacteria that can intensify the condition and also helping prevent future break outs with the antioxidants minimising scarring thus keeping the skin looking fresh and clean. The paste also reduces the chances of skin sagging, wrinkles and aging due to the fatty acids found in neem oil,” he explains.
Neem is also known to reduce dandruff. Washing your hair with boiled neem water helps fight dandruff, as it cleanses and helps keep the skin hydrated while strengthening the hair and improving the health of the hair follicles, a thing that makes neem popular in shampoos and scalp cleansers due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Due to its antioxidant nature, it is used in traditional medicine to stimulate hair growth and prevent male pattern baldness.
When taken orally, the antibacterial qualities in neem makes it ideal in eliminating the bacteria beneath the gums that cause periodontal diseases and bad breadth.
Neem twigs act as a make do toothbrush, fighting germs while maintaining the alkaline levels in the saliva. It treats swollen gums and gives one whiter teeth.
The bristles also destroy and prevent plague giving one a shiny pearly white teeth.
Boiling neem leaves and using it to wash your eyes can be good for the eyes as it is said to improve one’s vision and treat any kind of irritation, tiredness or redness.
When neem oil is applied to aching joints and muscles due to arthritis it significantly reduces pain and discomfort and increases flexibility if consistently used.
Neem is also used as a natural spermicide and birth control agent as it is likely to reduce the chances of conception for both men and women as it lowers the fertility levels without impacting libido. It also treats sexually transmitted diseases.
David Mugambi, a lecturer in natural resources management at Chuka University emphasizes on the importance of tree planting, saying that trees are known to reduce the greenhouse gases, provide construction materials, provide material for manufacture of organic pesticides, provide feeds for the livestock and shade, conserve soil, control wind and rain intensity, among other benefits.