Traditional, Pharmacological and Patenting Potential of Neem (Azadirachta indica): A Review

Since ancient time, herbal drugs were highly used in the prevention and cure of various human illnesses. In India, Azadirachta indica being commonly known as Neem or Margosa is one of the multi-functional trees; belonging to Meliaceae family. In 1992, the US National Academy of Sciences was published a report entitled ‘Neem- a tree for solving global problems’. It is still considered as ‘village dispensary’ throughout the India. There are two species of Azadirachta which have been investigated; Azadirachta indica that is found in the Indian subcontinent and Azadirachta excelsa Kack that is homegrown to Indonesia and Philippines. A large number of pharmacologically active substances have been identified and isolated from the different parts of neem including azadirachtin, meliacin, gedunin, salanin, nimbin, valassin and various other components which are derived from these main compounds. Many different studies have been evaluated and authenticated for its various traditional and pharmacological activities like itching, leprosy, wound healing, spermicidal, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, antidiabetic and analgesic etc.  In the beginning of 1979, patenting on neem was started by CSIR to separate the active compounds from neem oil. Its great implantation fights with soil erosion, global warming, deforestations and desertification world-wide. In 2002, World Neem Conference raised the neem tree as an industrial or commercial plant. This review is going to explore comprehensively; traditional, pharmacological potential along with patenting, environmental & industrial significant of various parts of neem tree with safety concerns. Keywords: Azadirachta indica, NSO, Patent, neem, India.