Nimba is a member of Meliaceae family with scientific name Azadirachta Indica, commonly known as Margosa Tree in English.
It is a fast-growing tree with 20–23 m tall and trunk is straight and has a diameter around 122- 153 cm.
Distribution and Habitat
Found in abundance in tropical and subtropical regions like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. Commonly found in various parts of India.
Properties as per Ayurveda
- Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)
- Guna (Properties) – Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)
- Virya (Potency) -Sita (Cold)
- Vipaka (Transformation after digestion) – Katu (Pungent)
- Karma (Action) – Kapha-pittahara (Decrease Kapha and Pitta), Dipana (Appetizer), Grahi, Krumighna (Deworming agent), Netrya (Good for eyes)
Antioxidant, Antimalarial, wound healing, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-pyretic, anti-tumor activities, hypoglycemic (nimbidin) actions.
- Nimba leaves and bark are with antimicrobial action. They are good for wound healing, wounds especially with foul smell, burning and itching.
- Nimba oil is used in the wounds of leprosy and to treat abscess condition.
- In ulcers, paste of Nimba leaves can be applied externally on affected part of body.
- In pruritus condition hot water bath with decoction of Nimba leaves is given to subside the itching sensation along with burning sensation.
- Nasya (Nasal drops) with nimba oil is useful for natural hair grown and in treating premature grey hairs.
- Poultice of Nimba leaves is tied over abscess.
Nimba leaves and bark, by its astringent and bitter property, improves taste sense in the mouth. Nimba fruits are purgative so, they can be used in treatment of constipation.
Leaves are stimulant of liver. Its bark decoction with honey is useful in jaundice, anorexia, vomiting, dysentery, intestinal worms, and liver diseases.
Ointment prepared from seed of Nimba is applied in piles.
Bitter taste helps to reduce excess Kapha from respiratory passage. Leaves are more useful in to remove excessive mucous secretion from lungs, Bark decoction is used in chronic cough. Due to its anti-pyretic property it can be used to treat fever
Due to its bitter and astringent taste, pungent Vipaka (Effect on digestion) it is good to reduce Kapha due to its cold potency to reduce Pitta. Nimba helps to reduce excess secretions and urine output and is hypoglycemic еffect so is effective in diabetes.
Nimba seeds are as uterine stimulant. Seed powder is used in dysmenorrhea. Continuous use of leaves leads to a decrease in the shukra dhatu, so not advised for regular use but can be used as natural contraceptive.
In many tribes, vagina is fumigated with smoke of Nimba before intercourse as a natural contraceptive. Nimba is a good uterine tonic. Since it is excreted in human milk, it is useful in preventing cough and skin diseases in infants.
Nimba is useful in all skin conditions especially fungal infections with anti-Kapha, anti-Kleda properties and in burning sensation due to its anti-pitta properties.
Spring is the season for pollen allergies, for vitiation of Kapha. There is a tradition to chew Nimba leaves at the onset of Spring Season to prevent possible Kapha disease due to seasonal changes of spring.
Antipyretic. Useful in chronic Kapha jwara, malarial fever
Hair health and Nimba
Take few drops of Nimba oil and apply it on your scalp, leave it for 30 minutes and then wash with warm water. This way Nimba oil can strengthen your hair, prevent hair fall and treat dandruff. For treating dandruff naturally, boil Nimba leaves in water till the water turns green, allow it to cool down and use this water as cleanser after washing your hair.
Nimba and Immunity
Crush 5 to 7 Nimba leaves and chew them properly followed by a glass of water. It helps to increase your immunity.
Eye Problems and Nimba
Boil Nimba leaves in water, strain properly and allow liquid to cool down. Add equal amount of honey and use the combination as eye drops 2 to 3 times a day to treat eye irritation, burning sensation, tiredness of eyes, red eye and inflammation of the eyes.
Oral Health and Nimba
For centuries, people in India, are using Nimba as natural tooth brush. Chewing Nimba twig releases the bitter taste which fights germs, maintains the alkaline levels of the saliva, treats swollen gums and also gives whiter teeth.
Overall effect on vata- pitta and kapha, Body tissue and wastes
- Kaphaghna (Anti-Kapha) due to bitter, astringent taste, dry and light property and pungent Vipaka
- Pittaghna (Anti-pitta) due to its bitter and astringent taste, cold potency
- Vata pvardhak (Pro-Vata) due to its bitter and astringent taste, cold potency, dry and light properties and pungent vipaka.
- Rakta (Blood) — In moderate use it is very good blood cleanser, due to its antifungal properties very much useful in various fungal infections. Due to its antimicrobial properties it is very good in infective wounds and treating inflammation.
- Meda (adipose tissue and in fat loss) – Due to its anti-kapha properties it is useful in fat loss, in too much sweating and in foul smelling.
- Mala – Reduces urine and is hypoglycemic so is used to treat diabetes especially when there is excess sugar found in urine.
Bark powder 4-10g, fresh juice 15-30ml, seed oil 5-10 drops.
Classical ayurvedic products with Nimba are
- Nimbaharidradi Churnam
- Nimbapatradi Churnam
- Nimbadi Kashayam Nimbamritadi panchatiktam Kashaya
- Nimbadi churna
- Arogyavardhini Ras (as Bhavanadravya)
- Nimba Haridrakhanda
- Pancanimba Churnam
- Panchatikta ghruta guggulu
The seeds of NImba are poisonous in large doses. Severe poisoning in infants from Nimba oil have been reported. In children, Nimba oil poisoning causes vomiting, hepatic toxicity, metabolic acidosis, and encephalopathy. Ayurveda warns not to use Nimba for longer duration as it is Ahrudya (Bad for heart and circulation). It is also reducing strength of muscles.