Quantitative Determination of the Total Phenolic Contents of Neem Tree

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  • Topic: Tannin, Neem, Polyphenol
  • Pages : 23 (7861 words )
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  • Published : February 2, 2013
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CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Background of the study
Herbal medicines have been part of the ingenious way of living in the society since the earlier times. Primitive men have been using this kind of medicine as the primary method of medication without undergoing different industrial processes. Herbal medicines have really come a long journey way back to the ancient times of Herbalism. One of the considered pioneers in Herbal medical field was Imhotep, a priest-physician of the ancient Egypt, physician of Marcus Aurelius and Paracelsus, who have a wide array of knowledge in Herbalism and made a record of the uses of these plants.

In line of herbal applications, Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India which is developed more than 5000 years ago, is believed to be the medicine of Hindu Gods. Ayurveda is based on the belief that our body is a balance and we get ill when this balance was disturbed. Consequently the five elements that Hindu’s believe to maintain this so-called balance are namely Smell, Taste, Sight, Touch and Hearing must preserve its equilibrium. The first two books of Ayurveda; Caraka Samhita and Susruta Samhita include a thousand of references in herbal medicines.

Phytotherapy has been introduced by French for the usage of Herbs as medicines and is internationally accepted and used. To edifice a valid basis on Herbal effectiveness, there are two aspects that should be measured; internal and external validity. Internal validity includes reliable and accurate results relationship with the hypothesis under controlled conditions which satisfy the scientific community from time to time while on the other hand, External validity refers to the applicability of the method either beyond or under the experimental conditions. Part of ensuring the social value of research includes devising and implementing sound science. Although international collaborative research on herbal medicine is no exception, discussing scientific validity as an ethical requirement raises some specific challenges, including the meaning of scientific validity, establishing inclusion and exclusion criteria, using appropriate outcome measures, and determining appropriate study designs.

The Neem tree (Azadirachta excelsa) is a tropical green tree that is common in the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries in the Southeast Asia. The other species of Neem that has been reported is the Azadirachta indica which is believed to originate and is native in Indian subcontinent. Recently, reports have been tallied that about 72 countries worldwide have this so-called “Miracle plant”. The Neem tree is a member of the Mahogany family having the taxonomic positions of

Order: Rutales
Family: Rutinae
Subfamily: Meliodeae
Tribe: Melieae
Genus: Azadirachta
Species: Indica or Excelsa
Approximately, there is an estimate of 25 million trees growing all over India. Neem has become the “India’s best kept secret” for a very long time that Indians benefit from almost all of its parts. Neem can be grown in areas which have 40cm to 150cm of rain annually and can survive at an uneven temperature of as high as 44oC to as low as 4oC.

According to Indians, Amrita (the elixir of life in Indian mythology) was ascented into heaven and few drops fell on the Neem tree. Neem was first acknowledged for its healing capabilities by the dwellers of India and Southeast Asia as early as 4000 B.C. The Vedas called Neem “Sarva Roga Nivarini”, which means “one that cures all ailments and ills”. During the last 30 years of publishing reports on the properties of Azadirachta, they overlooked another species that is commonly found in Southeast asia namely the “Azadirachta excelsa”.

The branches of Azadirachta excelsa are obliquely uplifting and spreading. In the young trees, the trunk is cylindrical from the base, but old trees show massive buttresses over the man roots. The bark color ranges from...
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