What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is incredibly bitter with a pungent garlicky, sulfur-like smell.
It is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, scientifically known as Azadirachta indica.
Initially, from the Indian subcontinent, the neem tree has spread to most parts of the world due to its resistance to drought and tolerance to heat.
What are Neem Oil Plants?
With over one hundred biologically active compounds, the neem tree has for a long time been an unmatched remedy for every problem of the body and beyond.
It has a unique ability to treat and manage a whole range of health issues.
Depending on the method of extraction, the oil varies in color from greenish brown to yellowish brown to shades of red.
This oil is known to contain a high number of active ingredients, which offer powerful healing properties for many medical ailments.
If you are like me, you grew up using pretty conventional stuff to manage common medical conditions.
Acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen for a headache, bismuth liquid for a stomach ache and Nexium or Aciphex for acid reflux.
With time, people started questioning the long-term effects of regular usage of these conventional synthetic medicines over an extended period.
This led to a widespread interest in natural remedies.
Over the last decade, more and more people have embraced the use of natural remedies in the treatment of common ailments and for use in household tasks.
Neem oil belongs to this category of nature’s gift to humanity.
The top elements found in neem oil include:
- vitamin E
- Nimbin compounds
- linoleic acid,
- oleic acid,
- vitamin C,
- and azadirachtin.
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These natural ingredients make neem oil a potent antifungal, antipyretic, antibacterial, insect repellent, and anti-inflammatory.
The list of benefits of neem oil is not just long but also backed by various studies and research.
Ranging from medicinal to cosmetic usage, the oil is available in many forms such as oils, gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and shampoos.
Now let’s explore the top benefits which have made this magic oil an inseparable companion for many people.
Neem oil as Pesticide
The most active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin.
It is a highly active component in the elimination of pests and insects around the home and garden.
Azadirachtin is very potent as it interrupts the life cycle of harmful insects like aphids, mites, mosquitoes, and flies.
This is done by disrupting their hormones. Azadirachtin halts the growth of these insects in every stage of their life.
It also inhibits the ability of the insect to feed which leads to its eventual death.
It is a high natural pesticide, insecticide, and fumigant as its non-toxic and it naturally degrades into the environment, unlike the synthetic alternatives which are harmful and toxic.
The Journal for Insect Science has approved the use of neem oil as a pesticide and insecticide.
Some of the benefits and uses of azadirachtin are listed below.
Neem Oil for plants
When neem oil is mixed with other carrier agents, it acts as an insect repellant.
It can be sprayed on the leaves of your plants without leaving any harmful or toxic residue on them.
It can be sprayed to eliminate cabbage worms, aphids, locusts, leaf miners, snails, spider mites and many other insects that suck or chew on plants. Neem oil can also be sprayed in the soil.
Plants absorb the oil through their roots and azadirachtin then acts on pests and insects that feed on the plants.
Contact with the neem oil-drenched soil also eliminates any bugs or soil pests.
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Neem Oil Mosquito Repellant
Studies in India have shown the effectiveness of neem oil as a natural and potent mosquito repellant.
Neem oil was mixed with coconut oil and applied on the skin of the test subjects in a mosquito-prone area.
The malaria is causing mosquito, Anopheles, was efficiently repelled by neem oil for 12 hours.
This goes to show that neem oil can be used to both repel mosquitoes as well as controlling malaria infestation in mosquito-prone areas.
Neem oil mixed with kerosene can be burnt in mosquito-infested areas to repel mosquitoes.
Alternatively, neem oil spray can be sprayed in your garden to prevent and control mosquito breeding.
Neem oil Bedbug
Bed Bugs can cause you sleepless nights as they munch on your skin. Use neem oil mixed with a carrier oil to eliminate the entire life cycle of bugs from their eggs to adult bed bugs.
Neem Oil for Controlling Fungus and Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew, the flour-like substance caused by fungi on the leaves of plants, can wreak havoc to your garden plants.
A neem oil based foliage spray will prevent mildew and other fungal infections like black spot and rusts.
Neem Oil for dogs
Pets keep us company and fill our days with great joy.
But their presence in our homes can introduce mites, fleas, and ticks.
Pets like dogs benefit from the use of neem oil in their routine hygiene care.
Neem oil is used in dog shampoo to rid man’s best friend of fleas. Azadirachtin works in killing fleas on the dog’s skin.
Neem oil can also be sprayed on the dog’s beddings to prevent and manage flea breeding.
Neem oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral components.
It fights any fungal, bacterial and viral infections in your dogs.
Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swellings in case your dog
is wounded as well as promoting fast healing of the wounds.
Skin infections can cause constant itchiness and discomfort to your pet.
Such diseases include ringworms, scabies, and eczema. Neem
oil mixed with carrier agents can be topically applied to the skin in the infested area.
The inflammations are reduced while giving relief from itching.
Neem Oil for Skin
We all want that supple, toned and moisturized skin that is wrinkle and pimple free.
Everyday exposure to the sun’s UV rays, dust, and other disease-causing organisms causes our skin to be dry, itchy and even breakout with pimples and skin ailments like scabies and ringworms.
Beauty products are laden with harsh chemicals that further aggravate any adverse skin condition that we have.
Nature has gifted us with a versatile ingredient, neem oil, which has multiple uses and benefits for our skin. Neem oil is used for both medicinal and beauty purposes.
It has antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, antihistamine,
analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for prevention and treatment of skin ailments.
It is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E which are key in promoting and maintaining healthy skin.
It is highly used in beauty products from soaps, shampoos, and lotions.
Neem Oil Skin Uses
Healing Dry Skin
Vitamin E works with the antioxidant properties of neem oil to prevent the harmful oxidizing action of free radicals on our skin.
Lack of moisture in the skin caused by the oxidizing processes of the free radicals causes the skin to dry out and form cracks.
Neem oil penetrates into the skin’s inner layers promoting the healing of cracks from within the skin. This encourages the growth of soft, supple skin.
It also acts as a protective barrier from further moisture loss, locking it in and leaving the skin soft, supple and moisturized.
The richness of neem oil in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E combine to form an active natural anti-aging and sun protection serum.
A beauty regimen with neem-based products protects the skin from the harsh UV rays and prevents further collagen damage.
Carotenoids promote the skin’s defense against the severe
effects of free radicals which are vital in accelerating skin aging.
These factors combine to smooth out and prevent further progression of wrinkles and laugh lines.
Skin Pigmentation Control
The skin at times produces excess melanin, the skin coloring agent which causes uneven skin pigmentation.
Neem oil works to even out your skin by controlling the overproduction of melanin leaving you with clear skin.
Regular Skin Care
A daily beauty routine using neem-based products like soaps, lotions, toners, and moisturizers removes impurities and tightens your skin pores.
It acts as a skin toner by restoring moisture and fighting pathogens. This leaves you with a clean, even, smooth, moisturized skin.
Persistent skin dryness requires moisturizers that deeply penetrate the skin.
Doctors often prescribe medicated dryness repair products that contain neem oil to promote even toned moisturized skin.
These products also provide a protective barrier which prevents a breakout of cracks and freckles.
Neem Oil Eczema and Psoriasis
Psoriasis and eczema cause persistent itching and dryness of the
Skin. In psoriasis, the skin becomes scaly with a sunburn appearance.
Neem oil helps in restoring moisture to the skin restoring and rejuvenating the skin’s moisture content.
Vitamin E soothes the skin by reducing itchiness and skin irritation.
The antibacterial properties of neem oil fight the pathogens that cause these skin ailments preventing a further breakout of these diseases.
Neem Oil Dermatitis
Dermatitis causes redness and swelling of the skin.
The antiseptic components of neem oil called nimbidins and nimbin compounds reduce and eliminate the redness and swelling of the skin.
The antibacterial compounds in neem protect the skin from further pimple breakout while eliminating any pimples one already has.
Neem Oil for Wounds and Scars
Babies and toddler skin has the power of regeneration which quickly heals wounds and gets rid of scars.
Adult skin takes time to heal or reduce injuries from wounds.
Neem oil anti-inflammatory properties reduce any inflammation and swelling.
It increases blood flow to the wound which helps in creating and binding collagen fibers which aid in wound healing.
Neem Oil for Antifungal Diseases
The medicinal properties of neem are diverse.
Fungal infections like ringworms, cold sores and herpes are easily treated and soothed by neem oil.
Neem kills fungi causing organisms while inhibiting the spread of it.
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Neem OIl Skin Parasites
Parasites can cause skin ailments like scabies.
Neem oil applied to the infected area suffocates the nymphs that cause scabies thus cutting off the growth and spread of this parasite.
It also eliminates mites and provides a soothing effect to the itchiness and redness caused by these mites.
Inflammation that results from mite infestation is also reduced by the topical application of neem oil to the affected area.
Neem oil for Acne
Acne is accompanied by a breakout of pimples that leave dark scars when they heal.
It can cause undue discomfort and embarrassment as it occurs on your face.
Neem oil works to remove skin impurities from the pores while tightening the same skin pores.
Fatty acids together with vitamin E work to prevent and heal existing scars caused by healed pimples.
Continued use of neem oil in your daily beauty routine will prevent further breakouts.
Neem Oil Blackhead Removal
Blackheads can be removed by consistent topical application of diluted neem oil on the blackhead.
This also prevents any recurrence of blackheads.
Neem Oil Natural Facial Scrub
The leaves of neem are a great natural exfoliant. Neem removes impurities from the skin pores and tightens the pore preventing any further build-up of pollutants.
Neem Oil for Hair
Robust and lustrous hair is achievable with the addition of neem in your hair care products.
Majority of hair products utilize the restorative and medicinal properties of neem oil to encourage healthy hair and scalps.
Neem oil Hair Growth
Neem oil strengthens hair from the roots to the tips. Is deep penetrating nature helps moisturize the hair roots from the hair follicles while tightening the skin pores in your scalp.
Blood flow to the scalp is also increased which brings nourishment to the hair accelerating hair growth.
Thinning hair is also strengthened while providing a protective barrier from harsh environmental conditions like pollution.
Improve Hair Texture
Neem oil helps in detangling and improving the overall texture of hair.
Apply it to your hair a few hours before washing to prevent dealing with tangled and unruly hair.
Neem Oil for Dandruff and Lice Treatment
Dandruff, the scaly white substance found on our scalps due to dryness, can be prevented by regular use of neem oil on your scalps. Neem oil is medicinal and heals the scalp from the organisms that cause dandruff.
It helps in restoring the perfect pH levels of your scalp while giving you a clean, healthy scalp.
Neem Oil for Gastrointestinal Ailments
Gastrointestinal diseases like ulcers and hyperacidity can cause pain and discomfort.
They are caused by an imbalance of the pH levels in your stomach.
The stomach naturally produces acid which aids in the digestion of food.
When there is an overproduction of the stomach acid, a pH imbalance occurs, and the acid begins to eat the stomach lining.
The areas that are affected by the acid erosion form wounds called ulcers.
Neem oil uses its analgesic properties to reduce the pain caused by ulcers.
Its medicinal properties also restore and maintain the pH levels in the stomach to the normal range.
With the right pH level environment, the ulcers that had formed get healed and further spread inhibited.
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Neem OIl Dental Care
The antiseptic properties of neem oil are utilized in the treatment of gingivitis.
Gingivitis symptoms include bleeding gums, gum inflammation, and bad breath.
Neem oil acts to cleanse and kill the pathogens in your mouth that are causing the symptoms above.
Gum inflammation is reduced by the anti-inflammatory properties while its analgesic properties eliminate pain.
Neem Oil for Cancer
Cancer and cancer treatment can weigh down your body and your immunity significantly reduced.
Neem oil is prescribed as capsules to maximize the immune boosting compounds.
Neem acts to protect the body from the action of antibodies helping cancer patients increase their immunity.
Neem Oil Viral Infections Treatment
Neem oil naturally treats viral infections like smallpox and chickenpox.
Other viral infections that benefit from the medicinal antiviral properties of neem oil include herpes and hepatitis B.
The use of neem oil can eliminate scars that form after the healing of these viral infections.
Fatty acids aid in scar treatment and reduction.
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Neem oil as a cleaning agent
If you are into natural pest management or green home cleaning and personal care, then you will find neem oil an excellent companion.
This potent and versatile oil has a place in your garden,
kitchen, and bathroom, as it combats household pests, odors and molds.
Neem oil is the most effective natural oil in carpet and mattress cleaning.
Neem oil kills all bacteria, fungi, and mites which may have made their base there.
To clean carpets, add a few drops of neem oil into your carpet shampoo machine.
For mattresses, mix 1 tablespoon of neem oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle.
Spray your mattress and allow to dry before flipping it and spraying the reverse side.
The antifungal properties of neem oil play a crucial role in keeping away the molds and mildew in the house.
These two are a significant source of annoying and life-threatening respiratory distress and immune reactions.
To get rid of molds, mix neem oil with liquid cleaners and spray the mixture in areas which are likely to experience mold growth.
The antiseptic properties of the neem oil help in surface cleaning.
Additionally, neem oil can be used when polishing your leather sofas and luggage.
There are many suppliers of neem oil available in the market, with varying degree of purity.
It is therefore essential to know which kind to buy to attain the best possible results for your unique requirements.
Natural, pure, 100% cold-pressed neem oil is the highest grade oil you can.
When making a purchase, take your time and read the labels carefully since most pre-mixed neem oils are refined.
Neem oil has several contraindications
First, it should not be ingested and should therefore not be used on children.
Store away from children to eliminate risks of accidental ingestion.
Correctly label your neem oil and store it in a cool, dark place or a refrigerator.
As with other natural essential oils, you are advised to conduct a patch test on the inner arm or leg to check for sensitivities.
Neem oil has potential abortifacient properties meaning that it can weaken fertility or induce a spontaneous miscarriage.
Consequently, it should not be used by expectant women and those who are trying to conceive, unless with the express approval of a physician.
Neem oil is made from neem seeds which are mostly nuts.
Therefore, you should not use it if you are allergic to nuts.
Also, people with autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis are advised to avoid neem oil since its usage can enhancement the symptoms of such conditions.
Researchers have invested numerous resources in carrying out research and studies on the benefits of neem oil.
All these studies have come to the same conclusion; an emphatic endorsement of neem oil as a magical gift of nature.
Neem oil usage has produced phenomenal results in skin and hair care, chronic or viral diseases and general well-being, stress management, pet care and pesticide control.