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.
Dr. Ram Prakash Srivastava, Neem and Pest Management, International Book distributing Co., 2001
Dr. H.S. Puri, Neem the Divine Tree, Harwood Academic Publishers. 1999