Neem is a terrestrial drought resistant tree that grows in arid and semi – arid areas, growing to 40m high and a life span of about 200 years.The plant originated from India, introduced to Kenya by the colonial administration during the colonial era along the Kenyan Coast.
Currently Neem Azandirachta Indica tree has been distributed to entire Kenya. The tree is known to have medicinal properties that cure over 40 diseases.
Some of its medicinal properties are: Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-feedant, Insect repellant, and Sterilization properties to insects.The strength of this department is built on the principles of Best Available Technologies and Best Environmental Practices.
Activities under this department are two folds: Community capacity building and Neem processing and conservation.
Under the community capacity building, activities involve training community based organizations and interested persons on the importance and sustainable utilization of this tree, conducting outreaches, and exhibitions as well as initiating Neem farming along the Coast, construction of Neem production units and oil pressing workshops.
With regard to Neem processing, we produce Neem based herbal cosmetic products including Neem soap, shower gel, shampoo, and candle, jelly, and Neem tea.
Research based evidence shows that these products are remedies to most fungal and bacterial caused external skin diseases.
For example, Neem based repellant jelly and candles help in fighting malaria transmission by repelling mosquitoes when applied or burned, while organic Neem powder helps with indigestion problems, high blood pressure, and general weakness amongst others.
Product development and value addition to the Neem products is a vital concept at Kwetu.