Several products in addition to those previously discussed have been generated from neem. Among them are the following examples.

  • Resin An exudate can be "tapped" from the trunk by wounding the bark. This high-protein material is not a substitute for polysaccharide gums, such as gum arabic. It may, however, have a potential as a food additive, and it is widely used in South Asia as "neem glue." 8

  • Bark Neem bark contains 14 percent tannins, an amount similar to that in conventional tannin-yielding trees (such as Acacia decurrens). Moreover, it yields a strong, coarse fiber commonly woven into ropes in the villages of India.

  • Honey In parts of Asia neem honey commands premium prices, and people promote apiculture by planting neem trees.

  • Food There are odd reports of people eating neem. Leaf teas may be harmful, especially if drunk in quantity over a long period, but it is said that Mahatma Gandhi, who had a hearty respect for the nutritive value of greens, commonly prepared a neem-leaf chutney and ate it with gusto—despite its incredibly bitter taste. Recently, the discovery of a rare neem tree with "sweet" leaves has been reported. 9

  • Fruit Pulp Pericarp represents about half the weight of neem fruits, and when they are processed to obtain the seeds, large quantities of pulp are also produced. This neem-fruit pulp is a promising substrate for generating methane gas, and it may also serve as a carbohydrate-rich base for other industrial fermentations.10


Anderson and Hendrie, 1971; Anderson et al.. 1972.


Patrao, 1985.


Mitra. 1963.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement