Siddiqui, an Indian biochemist, was the first scientist to discover the phytopharmacological potentials of the neem tree. He isolated nimbin, nimbinin, and nimbidin from neem oil, which contains a plethora of organic compounds such as terpenoids, limonoids, oily sulfur compounds, unsaturated fatty acids, and a complex secondary metabolite, azadirachtin (Figure 96.2), which is important in agriculture as a biological pest control. Neem derivatives are used worldwide to control about 500 different pests, including insects and nematodes. These preparations do not kill, but rather repel parasites, inhibit their growth, and alter their behavior and physiology; thus, pests become unable to feed, breed or metamorphose. Neem products are non-toxic for animals and beneficial insects; being cheap, they are ideal tools for pest control in disadvantaged countries. In conclusion, neem products find usages as diverse as agriculture, the cosmetics industry, and nutrition, since the shoots, flowers and leaves are eaten in India and South East Asia (Puri, 1999; Koul & Wahab, 2004). 815
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