Neem Balls

“It is horrendous to gorge oneself on extremely bitter balls”, this was the thought we all had in unison when we were asked to swallow marble-sized neem balls early in the morning. Our grandmother tried various methods by sprinkling tiny sugar crystals over these emerald green balls, and promising us a “paal” icecream stick (creamy milky ice pop) in the afternoon or a movie show in the evening, etc. But all her tactics usually went in vain as older children escaped from her clutches easily and young kids just spat them all out.

Neemballs-scaled Neem Balls
Neem balls

Neem tree:

Nowadays, we are searching for fresh neem leaves in our neighborhood as we truly value the worth of this amazing herb. Sometimes we have no option but to buy neem capsules from an Ayurvedic dispensary and swallow an insipid capsule in an empty stomach as a morning ritual. So we all like to plant a neem sapling near our house for its innumerable medicinal benefits. Every part of the neem tree is anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerous.

Neem-tree Neem Balls
Neem tree

Amazing facts on neem trees:

Neem trees are called as kalpa vriksha (a wish fulfilling tree) and are popularly known as sarva roga nivarani (it cures all the ailments).

  • United Nations declared neem tree as the Tree of the 21st century and regarded it as the tree for solving global problems.
  • Neem trees help in restoring and maintaining soil fertility.
  • Neem trees control the environmental pollution and thereby keep the surrounding air clean.
  • The temperature under the neem tree is approximately 10ยฐ C less than the surrounding temperature.
  • Neem tree shade not only cools but also prevents the occurrence of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses & fungi.
Neem-leaves-scaled Neem Balls
Pounded neem leaves

Ayurvedic properties of neem leaves:

Taste (rasa)Bitter (tikta) & astringent (kashaya)
Quality (guna)Dry (rooksha) and light to digest (laghu)
Potency (veerya)Cold (sheeta)
Effects on dosha
Balances pitta & kapha (pitta-kaphakara) and
increases vata (vatakrut)
BenefitsImproves digestion (agnikrut)
Treats worm infestation (krumihara)
Cleanses & detoxifies (vishanut)
Relieves thirst (truthara)
Heals & dries the wounds (vranahara)
Treats skin diseases (kushtahara)
Lowers blood sugar (mehanut)
Treats respiratory disorders (kasahara)

How to use neem leaves:

We can make neem balls by grinding fresh neem leaves after sprinkling little water, but some may like to add a small piece of turmeric and/or a couple of shallots. It is recommended to take a neem ball once a year or once in 6 months but not quite often. But pregnant women avoid taking neem balls.

Neem-scaled Neem Balls
Fresh neem leaves

My father used to chew a few tender neem leaves every morning. Tender leaves are not bitter, but they taste astringent. So we can give these to kids who refuse to take bitter neem leaves.

Neem-paste-scaled Neem Balls
Tender neem leaves are astringent

Earlier we were asked to take bath using neem leaves infused water prepared by immersing a handful of neem leaves in a bucketful of warm water for an hour during summer. Neem bath is not only useful to keep us cool but also to protect us from the viral infections like prickly heat, chicken pox, etc.

Neem-bath-scaled Neem Balls
Neem Bath

Neem products:

Now we are using bath soaps made using neem oil. Besides there are plenty of neem products like neem chewing sticks, tooth powder, face cream, shampoo, insect repellents, etc. available in the market.

Neem-oil-soap Neem Balls
Neem soap

Neem flowers:

Tiny white neem flowers have a mild fragrance, we use the dried neem flowers for culinary purpose and they also possess the same medicinal properties like neem leaves.

131 comments on “Neem BallsAdd yours →

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  1. Neem balls.. thatโ€™s new..
    My grandma used to feed me with neem leaves explaining the health benefits of it..
    It is bitter yet the natural way to keep our body disease free..

  2. Amma has told me stories of how she and her sisters would be made to eat these neem balls, when they were young. She says it would be a horrendous experience, but it did boost their immunity significantly. I’ve never had these, though.

  3. Yes, couldn’t agree more that neem leaves have many benefits. My father still drinks neem juice in the season. And I remember he always insisted that everyone should have (Eat) something bitter once in a while along with all kinds of tasty foods. For better health ofcourse. Glad you shared this.

    1. So true! Since Indian medicine systems believe that the taste of our food influences the dosha of our body, it is necessary to include foods of all kinds of taste whether we like it or not.
      Thank you so much for reading & commenting.

  4. I just had “Paan Balls” in a food competition where i was the judge. These Neem Balls look good and are so healthy. Good information. I have a neem plant and use it.

    1. Oh! Nice to hear this. Indeed both the green balls are possessed of medicinal values. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your time.

  5. Wow that’s wonderful treasure of information about neem . I remember using it for after chicken pox in childhood.I would really love to try these neem balls next time I get a chance.

    1. Yes, I do remember my brother took the neem bath at the outset of chickenpox during summer.
      Thanks much for dropping by.

  6. Big thanks for this post, I had the habit of having neem balls but somehow I left that, as you said having it rarely also good for health I will try at least monthly once. Also can follow neem leaves bathing on holidays for children. Thank you so much, surely will follow

    1. Nice to know that you have taken these balls earlier, and thanks much for reading this post.

  7. Nice read,it’s called mwarobaini in my country. It is believed to cure 40 diseases I don’t know which ones but yes I use it on stomach aches mostly. check out my blog i have nominated you for an award.

    1. Sounds great! Thank you so much for stopping by and also for the nomination. I will check out your blog asap.

  8. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful plant. I don’t know if I can grow one outdoors, but maybe indoors in winter, out for summer in my country would work. I didn’t know about the health benefits. Thank you again,

    1. Yes, I do wonder whether this tree can withstand the cold temperature during winter, but it is really worth the attempt.
      I’m glad you find this post useful, thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  9. This is so interesting. I like to use a shampoo with Neem and a herbal spray that has neem on my horse Biasini. He gets a bad reaction to insect bites and the neem helps to calm his skin. Also the neem keeps away the biting flies.

    1. Yes, neem has been used in veterinary medicine in India not only for anti parasitic property but also for the healing properties. It was mentioned in Mahabharatha, an epic composed around 300 BC, that neem leaves & oil were used to treat wounded horses & elephants during the battle of Mahabharata.
      It is no wonder that you, as a horse addict, have chosen neem products for your dearest Biasini. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks much for sharing your account on neem products here.

  10. Very informative! ? I use Neem toothpaste. Iโ€™d read about all of its benefits. Thank you for the comprehensive list. It reminds me to incorporate it into my life more.

    1. Nice to know that you are using neem paste. Earlier our ancestors used neem twig as tooth brush and they never used any denture even in their 80s or 90s. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m glad you find this post useful, thank you so much for stopping by.

        1. Oh! You may try out the organic neem chew sticks available online.

  11. Indeed a wonderful tree and such an outstanding post u have shared on this page.
    I still remember my mom used to apply neem paste on my scalp to which i would usually refuse and try to run away??

    1. As children we all developed an aversion to these neem leaves that were available plentifully within our reach, but when we realize the health benefits of neem tree we cast about for these fresh leaves in our locality. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for your kind appreciation.

  12. Wonderful detailed post Megala!! It is going to very helpful in the present times as people do not know about the real health benefits of neem tree and depend on meds..loved this one..

    1. Yes, neem trees are tropical trees, they grow in hot dry places, perhaps it is rare to spot one in Europe.
      Thanks Tracey!

  13. Haha, what an introduction! I’ve never had neem in any form before, but it does sound like a powerful and very healthy ingredient.

    1. Yes, absolutely! I read a newspaper article some time ago about an NGO planting numerous neem tree saplings on a spree to restore the soil fertility.
      Thank you so much for reading this post & sharing your thoughts.

  14. Not to appealing by first glance I agree. I only came across neem about 2yrs ago for its health benefits, and had only seen it as a supplement/tablet form so these are interesting!

  15. Neem balls sound interesting~ never heard of taking neem like that! I’ve heard it’s an amazing skin herb but I had an unfortunate reaction once to neem oil used topically. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Oh! I have not used neem oil, but I heard that some may develop allergic reactions to neem fruits & neem seeds, perhaps it applies to neem oil also.
      Thanks so much for your time.

  16. Neem has so many health benefits but Neem tastes too bitter.. it is so difficult to consume orally! I wish if there is a way to reduce its bitterness! Informative post Megala!!

  17. Thanks for telling me about neem trees and the many benefits! Haha it sounds like you have a different take on these balls now than when you were younger ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, same here. We could feel the bitter flavor inside our mouth till the next meal.
      Thanks much for stopping by.

    1. I think you may try to get neem powder, or neem capsules/ tablets through Amazon, or some other online portal.
      Thank you so much.

  18. This is amazing! Now I want to have some neem trees in my yard! Then, I will make neem balls everyday and take a bath… ^^
    I was told that Neem tree creates nice flowers. Is it true?

    1. Yes, they are edible too, and you can see a beautiful carpet of these tiny blossoms around the tree during summer.
      I know, as a plant enthusiast you will be interested to grow this amazing tree.
      Thank you so much Miss. Oscar!

  19. (EN) A twig of neem tree as toothbrush also … Love your post, Megala. Thanks?
    (IT) Anche un rametto di albero di neem come spazzolino da denti…Mi piace molto il tuo post, Megala. Grazie?

    1. Yes, if you don’t mind may I ask you, how do you come to know about this? I thought this was practiced quite a long ago in India alone.

      1. (EN) Because I was used to do all that things there in India?
        (IT) Perchรฉ ero abituata a fare tutte quelle cose lรก in India?

        1. Wow! Drinking bitter gourd juice everyday is a remarkable achievement.?

  20. In Karnataka, during Ugadi, we make bevu-bella – a mixture of jaggery and neem. This is given to everybody on Ugadi and is supposed to signify a mixture of good and bad for the year ahead. Although, they do say, if you’d get more bevu (neem) than Bella (jaggery), you will have a bitter year ?

    1. Interesting! Thanks much for sharing your personal account with these neem leaves.

      1. It is difficult to reduce the bitterness, but we can swallow these balls like tablets, or we can buy the neem powder available in capsules.
        Sorry for the late reply as I missed to notice your comments. Thank you so much for reading & commenting.

  21. Wow! Amazing benefits of neem Megala. Recently I bought a packet of neem powder. No matter how little I add, it becomes very bitter. Don’t know how to use it…

    1. We just need to mix half a teaspoon of neem powder with water to make a ball and swallow it (like a tablet) along with a glass of water, and I think this prevents us to feel the bitterness greatly.
      Thanks Radhika.

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