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Neem - The Tree Of The 21st Century

by Klaus Ferlow(more info)

listed in herbal medicine, originally published in issue 241 - October 2017

Here is the story how the Neem tree from India was rediscovered and the public at large has not been aware of it! The Neem tree, Azadirachta indica has been part of the oldest botanical medical system in the world, Ayurveda from Indian with a history of over 5000 years, but it seems that the benefits of this miraculous versatile medicinal tree were almost forgotten till Professor Dr Heinrich Schmutterer from Germany, working as an agricultural research officer in Sudan in 1959 noticed an outbreak of locusts. He saw a swarm settling on the Neem trees, but soon they flew away. In spite of their voracious behavior, the locusts did not feed on Neem. After they departed, he noticed that while every other plant was completely defoliated, the Neem trees were still green and unharmed. And, as an expert on tropical pests, he became curious.

Neem Tree

Neem Tree in Myanmar (Burma) with Dr Joaquim Morgado MD from Portugal.
Tree is 220 Years Old, 60 metres high and 40 metres crown

In an interview with the Times of India newspaper December 2, 2002 which was also published in the Global News Update newsletter of the Neem Foundation, Mumbai, India it came to them as an surprise that not an Indian doctor but a hearty German turns to be “the most knowledgeable person about Neem in the world” and Prof Dr Schmutterer has been called “The Father of modern Neem.

Professor Dr. Schmutterer attended as keynote speaker the  second World Neem Conference in 2002 in Mumbai and talked about the Neem tree as “perhaps the most useful tree in the world!

He worked with the Institute of Phytopathology & Applied Zoology at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany and set-up a Neem research lab. As a result he published in 1995 his first book The Neem Tree and worked as editor with 50 academics from around the world on his second revised book of 893 pages for the commercial agriculture industry which was published in 2002 by the Neem Foundation, Mumbai. He was also a contributor to the book Neem  A Tree For Solving Global Problems, published by the Academy Press, Washington, DC in 1992 and was interviewed for the video What's in a Neem? from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto, Ontario for the program The Nature of Things by Dr David Suzuki shown in January 1994.

This is when my journey started - viewing the video from Dr David Suzuki - and I have been doing Neem research for the last 23 years and became fascinated what this tree offers to mankind. For thousands of years humans have sought to fortify their health and cure various illness with herbal remedies. The search for a true panacea or cure-all has been undertaken by virtually every civilization. While hundreds or thousands of substances have been tried and tested,  few have withstood modern scientific scrutiny. Perhaps no other botanical better meets the true definition of a panacea than the Neem tree, a tropical evergreen native to India and Myanmar (formerly Burma).  From ancient to modern times, every part of this fascinating tree has been used to treat hundreds of different maladies. This miraculous healing herb is truly an “ancient medicine for a modern world”; no wonder that the United Nations declared it as “The tree of the 21st Century” and in India it is called “The Village Pharmacy.”

By using our Neem shampoo, Neem oil and Neem soap with no harmful ingredients which we developed beginning of 1994 and introduced it as the first company to the Canadian market, I was able to alleviate my severe psoriasis that I had suffered for over 40 years!! For me it was really a miracle and I started in 2011 writing a manuscript for the book Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift to Humanity which became a labour of love and passion since I wanted to share my own personal experience. My book was published in 2016 and if you want to learn more about it, please check these websites:  and

Please check also this link:   – second interview Nov. 17, 2016 with host Harpreet Singh, Joy TV studio 10, Surrey BC, Canada about the miraculous versatile Neem tree from India.

Special Note: In my book on page 131 is a black-white poster “The Life of Neem” but the text is so small  and you are unable to read it. Anybody who purchases my book is entitled to receive a 8X11 inch color poster if you send me proof of purchase of the book and your  mailing address. Thanks!

I collaborated with the two world renowned scientists, entomologists, Neem experts and researchers Dr. Ramesh C Saxena, Chairman of the Neem Foundation, Mumbai whom I met as speaker at their 6th World Neem Conference in Nagpur, India Nov. 21-24 2012 and Professor Dr Heinrich Schmutterer, now retired whom I met in August 2015 in his home town Wettenberg in Germany and also received 48 positive powerful testimonials from Neem experts, mostly academics, from around the globe.

In our quest for technological advancement, we have forgotten to learn from the practice of our forefathers. As a result, we have not been making good use of the centuries of knowledge and wisdom accumulated in the minds of people, based on the trials and errors of the generations gone by. Thus the new awakening in the people the world over, especially among scientists, to try to understand traditional customs, values, and practices, is a welcome change. We have made a good beginning with Neem, and have learned how good an example it provides of science learning from culture. A whole world of traditional knowledge awaits our objective scrutiny.

In 1975 I founded Ferlow Brothers Ltd; the name was later changed to Ferlow Botanicals. In 2013 I founded Neem Research, Mission, B.C., Canada to protect and promote this precious gift to humanity that offers better plant, human, animal, and environmental health - long live the Neem tree!

Words of Wisdom

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
Mahatma Gandhi

May you grow like a Neem tree.
W. Siddiqui


Schmutterer, Heinrich, The Neem Tree, Neem Foundation, Mumbai, India 2002.

Singh Neeraj Pratap, Neem – The Village Pharmacy, International Book Distrib. 2009.

Chaturvedi Vaidya Suresh, Neem in Ayurveda, P.V. Sankarankutty, 1998.

National Research Council, Neem – A Tree For Solving Global Problems, Academy Press, 1992.

NIIR Board of Consultants & Engineers, Hand Book on Neem & Allied Products, Asia Pacific Press.

Further Information

This information is summarized for its educational value only and should not be used for the diagnoses, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease. Please contact your health care provider.


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About Klaus Ferlow

Klaus Ferlow HMH HA Author, Formulator, Lecturer, Researcher, Writer, Core-founding member of the WNO – World Neem Organisation, member of the International Herb Association, Plant Savers, founder of Ferlow Botanicals & NEEM RESEARCH, co-author of the book "7stepstodentalhealth" and author of the  Award winning book "Neem: Nature's Healing Gift to humanity", third edition will be released November/December 2023. He can be reached at:,,


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