|Keeping up with Neem|
It condemned the strategy of MNCs trying to obtain patents of genetic parts of plants acquire monopoly over their use and increase economic dependence of the third world.
EC backs India on Neem Patent
Strassbourg: India has received support at the European Council for protection against piracy of its natural patents with the Council condemning what it describes as the phenomenon of "biocolonialism" in regard to gene patents. The criticism is, obviously, directed at the US, where producers have already began cultivating rice grains that resemble India's basmati and are now contemplating patenting the Indian neem whose natural medicinal properties have attracted the attention of a number of pharmaceutical companies. Neem is becoming increasingly popular in many Western countries, and German experts feel Indian cultivators should take steps to safeguard their patent rights. "Our past warnings on piracy of patent rights for neem h ave gone unheeded by the Indian government. Iit is only recently, when foreign companies started to patent the plants, the authorities in India have have woken up only to find that it is a bit too late in the day to redress the situation," an expert said. In a near unanimous resolution, the EC condemned the strategy of internationally operating companies which tried to obtain patents of genetic parts of plants, acquired a monopoly over their medicinal and agricultural use and so increased the economic dependence of the third world. A German Parliamentarian, Wolf gang Wodarg, who on behalf of the agricultural committee had been instrumental in preparing the resolution called "Biotechnology and intellectual Property", made a passionate plea to the EC on behalf of India. He said, without explicitly naming anyone, that a corporation had undertaken research on the healing properties and gene substances of the Indian neem tree and had obtained a patent for this discovery. This meant, Mr. Wodarg said, that if India wanted to use this traditional herbal plant for medicinal purposes, it would have to pay outrageous licence fees for a plant that was growing in its own yard. (India Abroad News Service)
Source : The Business Age
27th Sept. 1999
ISI Mark for Neem-Based Pesticides
In a significant step towards promoting the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable pesticides, the first ISI mark for neem-based pesticides has been granted to the Belgaum-based Mukumbi Manufacturing Co.The product is covered under IS 14300 : 1995 Indian standard specification for neem-based EC containing azadirachtin. This pesticide is a natural plant product extracted from neem seed/kernels which contains azadirachtin for insect repellant activity, a release by the Bureau of Indian Standards said. The use of neem-based pesticides is commercially viable in India because of the abundance of neem trees. The pesticide is extremely effective for agricultural crops such as cotton, paddy and pulses. The neem seeds/kernels contain triterpenes which are known to have active derivatives including azadirachtin. Unlike the chemical pesticides, the neem-based pesticide does not leave behind any residue.
Source: Business Line August 1999
Drink herbal and stay healthy
Every morning, at 5 am sharp Sanjay Naik, loads 80 cans of fresh herbal juice into his van and sets off to 10 different suburban parks in Mumbai. He sets up makeshift stalls in each park and displays an array of ayurvedic extracts, ranging from bitter gourd and neem juice to kokum and beetroot juice. Joggers and morning walkers complete their fitness regimen by drinking a glass of herbal juice, sugar free and salt free. Maybe, with just a dash of rock salt. By 8.30 am, his sales for the day are over. Naik struck on this idea of selling juice only a year ago. I roped in a friend who is an ayurvedic doctor and then with some modest investment in mixers and grinders began my business, " he says. Intially, he had difficulty attracting people to drink extracts of neem and bitter gourd. But he persevered and soon it became a fad and then a passion with his customers. Naik divides his customers according to various health categories. The common ailments are chronic cough and cold, acidity and indigestion. As soon as he spots a familiar group of portly 40-plus walkers advancing toward him he hurriedly prepares glasses of neem juice. That's the diabetic group. And some of who have complained of asthma are given a mix of neem, tulsi and mint. While neem will take care of diabetes and blood purification, tulsi and mint will address the asthma problem, he says.
Source: Bombay Times
13th Oct '99
The Versatile Neem Tree
It can solve most of your beauty as well as global problems
Nature and Wisdom say the same thing :
Modern science has rediscovered immense potential of the NEEM TREE, capable of bettering the lot of mankind in many a ways. Grown throughout the length and width of India, the Neem Tree not only takes care of your skin and hair problems, but also it is used as a traditional medicine in herbal cosmetic industry. It protects the environment by neutralising polluted air, aids agriculture and owns pesticidal properties as well. Yes, it's a plant with a promise. It is capable of solving most of our global problems as well.
Natural and National Wealth:
Before I start enumerating the wonderful qualities of this tree, it has to be understood that trees are our natural and national wealth. Trees not only provide us with firewood, timber and industrial raw material. Remember they cause rainfall, reduce air pollution and soil erosion, control floods and protect animal life as well. At times, they act as health resort centres and the greenery of Nature is soothing to tired eyes. "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step" and hence it is my sincere wish that all of us should take care of Nature in whatever little way we can, by protecting it, preserving it and teaching little children, right from childhood. They need to be encouraged to love and values trees and grow saplings. Efforts are going on to make the NEEM TREE OUR NATIONAL TREE. The tree grows upto a height of 30 feet or more and can attain full productivity within 10 years, its fruit-bearing period between 3-5 years which produces 30 to 50 kg of fruit every season. All parts of the Neem Tree - be it leaves, flowers, fruit, bark and roots have medicinal properties.
Neem Paste - An Excellent Mask for the Skin:
Powder a small bunch of Neem leaves and make a thick paste with water. Apply this paste daily to your face and neck. Slowly but surely over the months, the colour and texture of your skin will improve considerably. When steaming your face, you can either add 15-20 leaves to the boiling water or a tablespoon of the paste as mentioned above. It will perk up dull complexion.
People suffering from eczema and other related skin problems can dab the paste on the affected area. If any part of the leg is affected and you are the type to always wear sarees, salwar and pants, then you can dab the paste daily and let it dry before wearing the above and keep the same for the whole day. Always wash off with tap water followed by splashes of cold water as far as your face is concerned. Neem is a blood purifier detoxifying the system and is useful in destroying worms from the intestinal tract. A Neem water enema is recommended by Naturopaths for patients suffering from intestinal worms. Though a wee bit constipative, its regular ingestion is efficacious in coughs, colds and fevers too.
Hairfall and Neem:
Boil neem leaves in a tumbler of water for 5 minutes. The water will acquire a greenish hue. Wash hair with this water. After prolonged use, hair will not only stop falling but hair growth will increase, killing lice and insects too; at the same time and helping to keep hair soft while cooling the brain.
Neem datun's is an all time favourite. My Hindu friends tell that it is a practice in their homes to keep a few leaves in every box of stored grain to preserve the grains from insects. Neem juice in warm water with a little honey, every morning is efficacious in the treatment of jaundice.
Neem juice applied on the forehead gives relief in headaches too. There is no harm in trying our natural remedies. Even if there is no cure, there will never be any harmful or side effects.
Source: My DOCTOR
28th Nov '1998