Cameroon: Neem oil a substance with a thousand virtues, very popular in Garoua

Renowned for its efficacy in the treatment of certain diseases and its use in the composition of antiseptic products, neem oil is appreciated by many people in Garoua. Women have made it a speciality.

Native to India, neem, nicknamed the 'tree of a thousand virtues is a natural product whose properties differ in its use. Its fruits harvested in the dry season are used to produce vegetable oil. Housewife Marthe Pabamé explains how to extract neem oil: 'My way of extracting neem oil is to select the seeds, shell them and sieve them. I dry them well in the sun and crush them with the grinding machine. I heat some water to make it lukewarm and put the mixture in the bowl. Knead until the oil starts to seep out. I sell this oil at CHF 8000 per litre because extraction is difficult. "

In the city of Garoua, neem oil is recognised and appreciated by many for its many health benefits. It is also used in the composition of cream lotions, shampoos, lice and mosquitoes. "For example, it treats stomach pains in children. It also heals wounds and even fights ringworm. Neem oil treats scabies, itchiness and makes the skin smooth', says Hamadou, a healer. says Hamadou, a traditional healer.

Because of its strong odour, the consumption of neem oil is not trivial. Hence the need to observe the dosage and, if necessary, dilute it in another oil: 'We can take a spoonful of neem oil on an empty stomach in the morning and before bedtime to treat stomach pains,' Hamadou says again.

In addition to its therapeutic properties, neem oil is also used to make soap, which soap is known for its antiseptic properties.

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