Folium Azadirachti consists of the dried leaves of Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) .
Melia azadirachta L., M. indica (A. Juss.) Brand., M. indica Brand.
Selected vernacular names
Abodua, aforo-oyinbo, anwe egyane, arista, azad dirakht, azadarakht, azedarach, bead tree, bevinama, bevu, bewina mara, bodetso, bo-nim, cape lilac, chajara hourra, chichaâne arbi, China berry, China tree, cótanh, darbejiya, dogo yaro, dogo’n yaro, dogonyaro, dogoyaro, dongo yaro, dua gyane, gori, gringging, holy tree, igi-oba, imba, Indian lilac, Indian lilac tree, Indian neem tree, Indian sadao, Intaran, isa-bevu, jaroud, kahibevu, kingtsho, kiswahhili, kohhomba, kohumba, koummar, kuman masar, kuman nasara, kwinin, labkh, lilac de perse, lilas des indes, liliti, limb, limba, limbado, limado, linigbe, mahanim, mahanimba, mahnimu, mak tong, margosa, margosa tree, margose, marrar, mimba, mindi, miro tahiti, mwarobaini, neeb, neem, neem sikha, nim, nim tree, nimba, nimbatikta, nimgach, nivaquine, ogwu akom, oilevevu, ouchi, Persian lilac, phãk kã dão, picumarda, sa-dao, sa-dao baan, sadao India, sdau, salien, sandan, sandannoki, sãu dâu, senjed talhk, shajarat el horrah, shereesh, tâak, tâakhak, touchenboku, vembu, vemmu, vepa, veppam, veppu, white cedar, xoan dào, zanzalakht, zaytoon.
A straight-boled deciduous tree 6–25 m high.
Bark dark-brown, externally fissured, with a buffinner surface, fibrous fracture. Leaves alternately arranged, pinnately compound, up to 40 cm long, composed of 8–18 short-petiolate narrow-ovate, pointed, curved toothed leafl ets, 3–10 cm long and 1–4 cm wide arranged in alternate pairs.
Inflorescences axillary panicles; flowers numerous, white, pedicillate, about 1.0 cm wide.
Fruits yellowish drupes, oblong, about 1.5 cm long, containing thin pulp surrounding a single seed. When bruised, leaves and twigs emit an onion-like odour.
Compound leaves up to 40 cm long composed of 8–18 short-petiolate narrow-ovate, pointed, curved toothed leaflets, 3–10 cm long and 1–4 cm wide arranged in alternate pairs. Glabrous dark green upper surface, paler underside
Odour: characteristic, alliaceous; taste: bitter.
Lower epidermis with anomocytic stomata and occasional unicellular trichomes. Two layers of palisade cells are found below the upper epidermis.
Spongy parenchyma exhibits intercellular spaces and secretory cells, which are abundant on the borderline with the palisade cells.
Anticlinal cell walls are almost straight. Mesophyll contains rosette crystals.
Collenchyma interrupts mesophyll on both upper and lower surfaces in the midrib region. Vascular bundles strongly curved, lignifi ed, collateral.
Powdered plant material
Green and characterized by the presence of cortical cells of the rachis, fragments of palisade cells, hairs, fibres, wood fibres, spiral lignifi ed vascular elements, epidermal tissues of the leaf with characteristic anomocytic stomata and large pit cells with intercellular spaces. Epidermal cellwalls straight.
General identity tests
Macroscopic and microscopic examinations , microchemical tests and thin-layer chromatography.
Tests for specifi c microorganisms and microbial contamination limits are as described in the WHO guidelines on quality control methods for medicinal plants.
High-performance liquid chromatography methods are available for the quantitative determination of oxidized tetranortriterpenes.
Major chemical constituents
The major characteristic constituents are oxidized tetranortriterpenes including azadirachtin (azadirachtin A), 3-tigloylazadirachtol (azadirachtin B), 1-tigloyl-3-acetyl-11-hydroxy-meliacarpin (azadirachtin D), 11-demethoxycarbonyl azadirachtin (azadirachtin H), 1-tigloyl-3- acetyl-11-hydroxy 1 1 demethoxycarbonyl meliacarpin (azadirachtin I), azadiriadione, azadirachtanin, epoxyazadiradione, nimbin, deacetylnimbin, salannin, azadirachtolide, isoazadirolide, margosinolide, nimbandiol, nimbinene, nimbolin A, nimbocinone, nimbocinolide, nimbolide, nimocin, nimocinol and related derivatives.
The structures of azadirachtin, nimbin and deacetylnimbin are presented below.
Uses supported by clinical data
External applications for treatment of ringworm. However, data from controlled clinical trials are lacking.
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Treatment of worm and lice infections, jaundice, external ulcers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gingivitis, malaria, rheumatism and skin disorders.
External applications for treatment of septic wounds and boils.
Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of allergic skin reactions, asthma, bruises, colic, conjunctivitis, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea, delirium in fever, gout, headache, itching due to varicella, jaundice, kidney stones, leprosy, leukorrhoea, psoriasis, scabies, smallpox, sprains and muscular pain, syphilis, yellow fever, warts and wounds.
Also used as an antivenin, contraceptive, emmenagogue, tonic, stomatic and vermicide.
Anxiolytic and analgesic activities
Intragastric administration of 10.0–200.0 mg/kg body weight (bw) of an aqueous extract of Folium Azadirachti produced anxiolytic effects similar to those of 1.0 mg/kg bw of diazepam in rats in the elevated-plus-maze and open-field behaviour tests.
The analgesic effect of an extract of the leaves was assessed in mice using the acetic acid writhing test and the tail fl ick test.
Intragastric administration of 10.0–100.0 mg/kg bw of the extract reduced the incidence of writhing and enhanced tail-withdrawal latencies.
Anti-infl ammatory activity
Intragastric administration of 200.0 mg/kg bw of an aqueous extract of the leaves to rats decreased infl ammation and swelling in the cotton pellet granuloma assay.
Intraperitoneal injection of 200.0–400.0 mg/kg bw of an aqueous extract of the leaves to rats reduced carrageenan-induced footpad oedema.
The antiulcer effects of an aqueous extract of the leaves were investigated in rats exposed to 2-hour cold-restraint stress or given ethanol for 1 hour.
The extract, administered orally in doses of 10.0 mg/kg bw, 40.0 mg/kg bw or 160.0 mg/kg bw as single- or fi ve-dose pretreatments produced a dose-dependent reduction in the severity of gastric ulcers induced by stress and a decrease in gastric mucosal damage provoked by ethanol.
The extract prevented mast cell degranulation and increased the amount of adherent gastric mucus in stressed animals.
Intragastric administration of 40.0 mg/kg bw of an aqueous extract of the leaves per day for 5 days to rats inhibited stress-induced depletion of gastric wall adherent cells and mucus production.