In Asia this tree is fabled as 'the wonder tree,' and its oil and other parts are used for a wide range of conditions. It has a very pungent, garlicky smell, which is why it is not so suitable for massage or bath blends, but makes an excellent addition to healing salves and lotions. In Ayurvedic medicine this oil is used for all types of 'problem' skin. In India it is highly respected for its anti-parasitic, insect repellent, anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties.
In India, Neem is planted near dwellings for protection against disease and evil. It is also used in cleansing ritual baths and fumigations. It is said to have gained its protective powers by receiving some drops of heavenly nectar.