Friday, March 4, 2011

The Neem Tree

As salaamu alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Had I not thought it difficult for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the Miswak (tooth-stick) before every Salat.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Hudaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) got up (from sleep), he would rub his teeth with Miswak (tooth-stick). [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Here is an article from Natural News on Neem (also called siwak and miswak in stick form). Subhaan Allah, even the West is encouraging us to follow the Sunnah! I'm guilty of leaving my miswak collection in their packs on the shelf... but I think it's time to set an example and get one out! Who wants to join me? Also, let us know if you try any of the other uses listed here inshaa Allah.


Why You Should Get To Know Neem: The Tree of Life

* By Katherine East
Natural News, October 27, 2008
Straight to the Source


(NaturalNews) The Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) is an incredible plant that has been declared the "Tree of the 21st century" by the United Nations. Also known as the Margosa and native to the Indian subcontinent, it has been revered for centuries in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. Ancient Hindu manuscripts contain chapters on medicinal plants to have near one's house and the Neem tree is highly recommended. The seeds, bark and leaves contain compounds with proven antiseptic, antiviral, anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and anti-fungal uses.


Traditional Medicinal Uses:

The entire tree can be used medicinally to treat a whole lot of ailments - probably why it is affectionately known as "the village pharmacy"

.The young twigs are chewed for keeping gums and teeth healthy.
.The rich and potent margosa oil is obtained from crushing the ripe seeds. This amazing oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-viral properties. It has even been used to treat leprosy.
.The bark and roots can be made into a tea and has been used for centuries to treat jaundice and liver ailments, intestinal parasites, stomach ulcers and malaria.
.A tea made from the leaves and mature seeds is still a popular remedy today for treating bladder, kidney and prostate ailments. This brewed tea can be added to a base cream and used as a healing, soothing treatment forhaemorrhoids.
.A strong tea of the leaves is used as a lotion for sprains, bruises and swollen glands – a bandage or cloth soaked in the hot tea is applied to the area and held in place, often with a banana leaf wrapped around it.
.As a wash and lotion the same tea is used for eczema, rashes, grazes and scrapes and to wash out wounds. Leaves heated in boiling water are applied to boils, sprains, infected wounds, bites, stings and infected grazes.
.Neem leaf tea (pour 1 cup of boiling water over ¼ cup fresh leaves, stand for 5 minutes, strain and sip slowly), is taken to reduce blood sugar levels, lower fevers, and to treat tuberculosis, bladder ailments, arthritis, rheumatism, jaundice, worms, malaria and skin disease.Neem is also used cosmetically and in toiletries. In India, Neem sprigs are boiled, and the water is then used as a hair wash. Neem hair treatment clears scalp infections and dandruff and stimulates both the growth and texture of the hair and rids the scalp of nits, dry itchy scalp and excessive oiliness. It is very effective in clearing up fungal infections like athletes foot, ringworm and Candida.


Environmentally Safe Natural Insecticide:

One of it's most useful properties is its remarkable powers for controlling insects. The leaves are used in libraries and in government and university documents to protect against insect damage. The chemical azadirachitin is the main ingredient for fighting insects and pests and has been found to be up to 90% effective. This chemical is present in the wood, leaves and seeds and works by disrupting the life cycle of the insect as well as repelling them.

Neem is not an instant killer like we've become accustomed to with chemical pesticides. It works differently and more slowly, so some gardeners may question its usefulness. Neem repells insects and acts as an anti-feedant so an insect would rather starve to death than eat a Neem treated plant. If they do eat the plant, the Neem acts as a contraceptive and the insects do not mate or lay eggs so their life-cycle is broken.
Insects must feed on plant tissues to be affected so Neem-treated plants are safe for beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Neem oil makes an effective insect repellent for the home. To get rid of mosquitoes, flies and crawling insects from your house, make a strong tea made by boiling the leaves and twigs for 20 minutes in enough water to cover them (alternatively use 1 teaspoon pure neem oil to 1 cup of water), place in a spray bottle and then spray all around.


References:
Dr. Ram Prakash Srivastava, Neem and Pest Management, International Book distributing Co., 2001
http://www.neemfoundation.org/
Dr. H.S. Puri, Neem the Divine Tree, Harwood Academic Publishers. 1999

6 comments:

  1. Allahu Akbar! Now THIS is what I was waiting for LOL. Looks like I only hit the tip of the iceberg though. Subhan Allah, it's AMAZING the nature Allah creates. The part that made me smile most was that there's even mercy in Allah's pesticides. :-D Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi, Subhan Allahil Atheem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alhumdulilah this was very informative. I didn't know the Neem tree was the same tree used for making miswaks. The health food store down the street from my house sells Neem oil, teas, lotions, conditioners, shampoos, ect. I do have the Neem oil, and conditioner. I work well for any scalp issues. The oil smells very strong thought. Nice article.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Assalamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
    JazakiLlahu khaira for the reminders you are shraing on the Sunnah. Insha'Allah they become daily rituals and blessing us all with the rewards Allah Ta'ala promises for practicing them and promoting them to others. Insha'Allah you start using yours Dear Mai :) but I suggest you get the fresh Hanash ones and not the ones in the packets. There are seven different trees miswak can come from. I blogged more info here
    http://almiskeenah.blogsome.com/2007/05/31/jumaah-mubarak-12/
    Wassalamu alaikum

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Bilal.

    Actually, I wrote this while I was still in the USA...most certainly now I have access to the fresh ones, it is much preferred. Jazaaki Allahu khayran, my dear sister. Your blog details are fantastic...barak Allahu feeki and ameen to your dua!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Salams, Salams!
    This is a nice article but Miswak & Siwak are not from the Neem tree. Miswak typically comes from the Arak tree which is famous for ITS benefits. Prevents tooth decay, halts tooth decay once it has already begun, helps smokers quit (now that is just cool), it contains oral disinfectants, kind of like a halal (permissible) Listerine, helps with toothache pain reduction, and it strengthens gums. And here are a few that modern tooth brushes and tooth pastes can't beat to this day, the enzymes in the plant help with bad breath, not by covering up but by killing the stinky bacteria and preventing it from growing, it improves tastebud sensitivity (meaning you can taste food better) and last but not least, using it keeps bacteria and plaque from forming throughout the day (a few toothpastes do that now though). Now, where did all this information come from? The WHO, the World Health Organization. Their conclusion, using Arak Miswak (which is usually a root not a branch or twig) was better than brushing alone (meaning without tooth paste). Now, there is no doubt in my mind a neem miswak would be amazing but they're hard to find. Just remember if you have access to toothbrushes and toothpastes you should use those WITH miswak because modern toothpaste does help with things the Miswak can't.

    ReplyDelete