Neem bark is taken from the neem tree which predominately grows in India and Asia. Neem bark can be used just off the tree or can be freeze dried or ground into a fine powder for use at a later date. Neem bark has been utilized for centuries by the Indian and Asian cultures to treat numerous medical illnesses, prevent pregnancy and also as a potent pesticide.
One of the major uses of neem bark is as an insect repellent. Neem bark offers benefits for humans because there is no need to use harmful pesticides or chemicals on crops. According to the University of Wisconsin Colleges, neem bark is ground into a fine powder and used as an organic pesticide. This is done by dusting the crops with this fine powder. This is not dangerous to humans who will later eat the food. In addition, neem bark powder can be used to keep insects out of homes. Many people dust the doorways, cracks and base of their homes to protect them against insect invasion. In addition, some people who are frequently outdoors dust the powder on their bodies to protect from being bitten or stung by insects. Exposure to insects such as mosquitoes, which carry malaria and other dangerous diseases, can be thwarted by using neem bark to prevent mosquito bites.
According to the Neem Foundation, neem bark has some very strong antibacterial properties. The bark can be made into an oil that will quickly absorb into the skin. Neem bark can be used to treat various body infections and help to kill bacteria on the skin that cause severe skin infections such as acne and infected wounds. According to the website for Trudi J. Pratt, D.C. in Redding, California, neem bark oil can also be used on aggravating or recurrent skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, ring worm and even warts. This has great benefits for people that do not like to expose themselves to harsh chemicals or drugs and are looking for a more holistic approach to healing their bodies. Many medical and osteopathic physicians and chiropractors are seeing the benefits of using neem bark oil.
Neem bark has also been used to prevent pregnancy. According to the Neem Foundation, neem bark, which contains nimbidin and sodium nimbidinate, possesses spermicidal properties. In fact, women in India and Asia have used neem bark as a spermicidal for centuries. Neem bark oil or powder can be used by being placed in the vagina or on the penis before sexual intercourse. Western medicine is just beginning to take a closer look at neem bark as a spermicide and little research has been done as of 2010. As a result, more research needs to be done before it will be approved as an acceptable form of pregnancy prevention in the United States.
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Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.