"Miracle Tree" Heals Sarah's Back

This article was first published in Hope Notes Is 31. 

Written by Eryn Austin-Bergen 

Have you ever heard of the neem tree? 

Neem trees are a type of mahogany (Azadirachta indica) that spread from southern Asia around the world and now flourish across Asia, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. 

Neem is a hardy, fast-growing evergreen with deep roots that can weather extreme heat, resist drought, spring up out of pure sand, survive salt water, and stem desertification. Not only can neem withstand the shocks of climate change, it also helps heal humans.

For generations, the neem tree has served as a sort of “community pharmacy”. Neem remedies are made from every part of the tree—bark, fresh wood, leaves, flowers, fruit—and can be administered in many forms including capsules, powder, oil, tinctures, cream, or mouthwash. 

Neem is said to cure everything from fungal and bacterial infections to anxiety and depression. Some use the oil on their skin to treat issues like dandruff or acne, while others ingest the leaf extract to heal stomach ulcers. In parts of South Asia and Africa, it’s common to see neem sticks used as disposable toothbrushes. Why? Neem contains antiseptic ingredients that can help maintain healthy teeth and gums, and even prevent gingivitis! 

It is truly a miracle tree. But it’s the neem tree’s anti-inflammatory properties that interested Sarah the most. 

Sarah lives in the rural village of Kitindya in Bushiangi Community, Uganda. She’s married with three children—Hellen (12), Stacia (9), and Jordan (5)—and farms two acres of land to help feed her family. But when she began experiencing intense back pain, it became almost impossible for her to complete even the simplest tasks. 

For nine excruciating months, Sarah spent every spare penny searching for relief. At the same time, she was powering through FH Uganda agricultural workshops, in spite of her severe pain. 

A unique part of the training included medicinal plants—how to grow and administer them to treat common family ailments. This piqued Sarah’s curiosity. Could neem help her back pain? It was worth a try!

“I had back pain that had lasted for over nine months and I had tried treating it with all kinds of medicine but all was in vain. Not until FH trained us on nutrition-dense kitchen gardening was I able to acquire knowledge on medicinal plants, some of which were neem and aloe vera. These helped me to heal and I no longer feel any pain,” Sarah rejoices. 

Neem provides safe, low-cost pain relief for families living where it’s hard to get to a pharmacy and hard to pay for medicine. By using these plants and increasing her family’s vegetable consumption, Sarah’s been able to boost her family’s immunity so that they rarely get coughs or flus anymore. And when they do get sick, Sarah knows how to heal them with her medicinal plants. 

She also learned to keep her vegetable garden healthy by making organic pesticides and fertilizers from neem instead of buying synthetic ones. This helps save money, grow healthier food, and protect non-pest insects and animals. Neem oil is safe for birds and helpful insects like bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and earthworms. 

Sarah no longer spends money on medicine for her back pain or on expensive fertilizers and pesticides. She’s also increased her vegetable sales and income. These changes mean she can invest more funds in her Savings and Loans Group to help cover emergencies at home and plan future developments. 

But she doesn’t keep all this goodness to herself! Sarah is a deeply Christian woman whose love for God overflows in her generosity to neighbours and friends—she grows her own seedlings and freely shares them. 

But, perhaps, best of all, Sarah no longer has back pain. With this heavy burden lifted, she says she is genuinely happy again.

Support work in Uganda and help more mothers like Sarah get back on their feet. 




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Food for the Hungry: "Miracle Tree" Heals Sarah's Back
"Miracle Tree" Heals Sarah's Back
The neem tree and aloe plant provide natural remedies to families who struggle to access modern pharmaceuticals. Should we follow suit?
Food for the Hungry
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