Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the NEEM tree which is native to the Indian subcontinent, but has been introduced to many other areas in the tropics
Neem oil can vary in colour; from a golden yellow to reddish brown to even a greenish brown or a bright red. Be fairly warned – it does have quite a strong odour that is quite nutty or woody. I actually find it smells like a damp forest floor (well, what I imagine a damp forest floor would smell like)
And it is has a rather bitter taste, also, so if using for facial treatments, don’t get it in your mouth – it does taste YUK.
But the fantastic thing about Neem oil, is that some of it’s properties are: antiseptic, antifungal, antipyretic and antihistamine
Traditional Ayurvedic uses of neem include the treatment of acne, fever, leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis. Also, various folk remedies for neem include use as an antiseptic, diuretic, emmenagogue, contraceptive, parasiticide and insecticide. It has been used topically, orally and vaginally in traditional applications
So, how does NEEM OIL benefit you? And what are the best uses of neem oil?
1. Neem leaf has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for dandruff or dry itchy scalp. I tried this recently, due to the seasonal change, my scalp was in terrible condition. It really did work quite well. Perhaps another treatment to make me shout from the rooftops about it, but just one overnighter, and my scalp is much better. Additionally, my scalp was so dry that I found my hair was falling out (Yikes)….a week after the one treatment and I’m no longer losing any more that the normal average amount of hair. Yippee!
2. Due to the moisturising qualities and other nifty little bits, Neem oil is excellent at promoting stronger hair and greater growth. So, if you are trying to grow out that short cut…..try using Neem Oil to encourage faster growth. Will let you know how I go with this one (I had a bit of a midlife crisis and cut my hair waaaaaaay super short and now I kinda want it long again)
3. Neem Oil is known to be excellent in treating acne. The growth of acne-causing bacteria such as staphylococcus epidermidis is inhibited by Neem Oil, which in turn reduces acne breakouts.
4. Scarring: Neem Oil contains a high level of high fatty-acids, which helps to, both, prevent and treat scars from acne. It can also be used for other scarring on the body.
5. Anti-aging: Neem oil contains fatty acids and vitamin E that gets absorbed very easily into the skin, which helps to rejuvenate skin cells and restore elasticity. THIS is the one I love. I used Neem Oil, without truly knowing all the benefits. And when I woke up in the morning – wowee! My skin looked so even toned, nicely moisturised and I didn’t look as old and haggard as I usually (I just turned 40 and I have 2 boys under 3, one of whom feels it isn’t appropriate to sleep the night through yet, so haggard is a word that I absolutely definitely FEEL some days)
6. Antioxidant: Neem Oil contains high levels of antioxidants that help to protect skin from environmental damage and from aging. Nice one Neem
7. Skin Disorders: It is especially beneficial for skin disorders like eczema and minor skin infections. It also improves general skin health and immunity, combating bacterial infections such as acne, boils and ulcers.
8. Neem Oil can be used on warts, cold sores and herpes: A paste of Neem powder can be applied to warts and herpes and other viral issues of the body.
9. Digestive issues: Neem Oil can support a healthy GI tract and also helps to process foods to prevent digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation. As well as killing off internal parasites such as intestinal worms. Drink Neem tea to kill ring worm and scabies
10. Anti-inflammatory: Neem Oil has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in conditions such as arthritis, muscular pains and inflamed wounds. Heat neem oil with coconut oil and massage into aching joints.
***A very important note here: never EVER give Neem in any form to children with fever or viral illnesses (I’d say – for anything or any reason…). Neem contains Aspirin like substances and like Aspirin it can lead to Reye syndrome. (More info about children ingesting neem oil.)***
11. Insect repellent: Neem oil is an all natural insect repellent. It is safe to use on your body to keep insects and pests away (ie: mozzies, flies etc)
12. Dog Care: Neem Oil can safely be used on your dog to aid in killing fleas and ticks. You could either brush some through your dog’s coat and leave overnight then wash out. Or simply add some to the dog shampoo. .
P.S. Try this recipe here for keeping mozzie away on people (I’ve not tried it, so cannot guarantee that it “really works” ?
And I saved the best use for last……
13 . For all those organic gardeners out there…..Neem oil is your “go-to” treatment. It can be used to treat a number of garden ailments, including:
- Insects: Neem oil kills or repels many harmful insects and mites, including aphids, whiteflies, snails, nematodes, mealybugs, cabbage worms, gnats, moths, cockroaches, flies, termites, mosquitoes, and scale. It kills some bugs outright, attacks the larvae of others, and repels plant munchers with its bitter taste.
- Fungus: Neem oil is also effective in preventing fungal diseases such as black spot, anthracnose, rust, and mildew.
- Disease: As if that wasn’t enough, Neem oil also battles viruses that can harm plants.
- Simply mix with water in a spray bottle and spray away. Keep shaking the bottle as you use it though, as the oil and water will separate naturally.
It is Nontoxic, organic and completely biodegradable. Certainly much better than some of those other nasty pasty chemicals. This one (almost) does the lot. I still suggest washing your veggies before eating – mostly to get rid of environmental residue, but being an oil, quite likely there will be dust and such stick to the food.
For even more wonderful suggestions on the benefits and uses of Neem Oil, head over here for more ideas
Have you ever used Neem Oil for anything?
Tell us below so we can share more amazing uses for this oil