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article imageStudy shows neem powder can have anti-microbial properties

By Sravanth Verma     Oct 3, 2014 in Health
A new study presented in June at the "International Conference on Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences" in Malaysia, looked at the capability of neem to restrict the growth of bacteria in wounds.
The study used air-dried powder from neem leaves, mixed with methanol to study its efficacy in deterring bacterial growth. The test was carried out against Staphyloccus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 100 grams of the powder was mixed with 500 ml of methanol and applied to the bacterial cultures, while a positive control group of bacteria was also established, where antibiotics were used to treat the bacteria. After both sets of cultures were left overnight, the Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes cultures treated with methanolic neem extract showed inhibited growth as compared to the antibiotic cultures, with inhibition increasing with the concentration of the neem extract. However, Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed no significant inhibition in comparison.
The study confirms that neem extracts have antibacterial effects on Gram positive bacteria but not on Gram negative bacteria. Gram positive bacteria include genera such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus and Listeria. The study recommends that neem be tested against more species of microorganism.
Neem (biological name Azadirachta indica) is under study across many laboratories in the world for its high bioactivity and is considered a powerful medicinal opportunity. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties. Neem grows indigenously only in India, but has been introduced in several parts of the world, including in places like Saudi Arabia. In traditional Indian medicine, the medicinal benefits and uses of neem have led to it being considered a "medicine chest for all ills." In Indian tradition, it is known as "sarva roga nivarini" or "cure for all ailments."
The study comes in light of the increasing health burden of wounds infected with bacteria, and also the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and is an effort to find new methods and treatment modes to handle these issues.
More about neem, Antimicrobial agent, Natural remedies
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