Description: Neem is a medium sized to large tree characterized by its short straight trunk, furrowed dark brown to grey bark, and dense rounded crowns of pinnate leaves. Native to India, Neem is widely planted and naturalized in semiarid areas throughout Asia and Africa. Neem is an evergreen of the tropics and sub-tropics. It belongs to the family Meliaccae and is a cousin of the Chinaberry. With an extensive and deep root system, the hardy Neem can grow luxuriantly even in marginal and leached soils, and thrives up to an elevation of 1500m. The Neem flowers are prolific between February and May. The honey-scented white flowers, found in clusters, are a good source of nectar for bees. Neem fruits are green drupes that turn golden yellow on ripening in the months of June, July and August, in India. The kernels have about 45% oil. The termite resistant Neem timber is used as a building material, and in making furniture and farm implements. The bark yields tannin and gum. The amber hued gum is used as a dye in textiles and in traditional medicines.
Blends well with: Literature on the blending of Neem oil is difficult to acquire. Nonetheless, there are vague references to it blending well with Lavender (All), Clarysage, Rosemary (All), Pine (All), Cananga, Geranium (All), Marjoram (All), and spice oils – especially clove and nutmeg.
Aromatic Scent: Neem oil has a rich, earthy, green musty smell.
History: The Neem tree originates in India and is now being grown successfully in Northern Australia. The oils and dry extracts from the plant have been used in Ayurverdic medicines for thousands of years, and have been revered in India for their medicinal and healing properties, especially on chronic skin disorders.
Plant Part: Seeds