Neem Oil

By | March 26, 2014

Neem oil comes from the seeds of the evergreen Neem trees, azadiracta indica. Once only found in its native land of India, these trees now grow in other countries in the tropics. The oil is extracted from the seeds by either pressing or by solvent extraction, with the oil obtained by expression being of a higher quality.

Properties

The oil of the Need seeds, with a smell that is reminiscent of garlic and peanuts, contains large quantities of triglycerides and bitter-tasting triterpenoid compounds. Additionally it is comprised of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and steroids such as stigmasterol, campesterol and beta-sitosterol.

Medicinal Uses

Neem Herb

In traditional and Ayurvedic medicine Neem is used to treat a number of ailments, including:

  • Skin issues, such as eczema and leprosy
  • Rheumatism
  • Inflammation
  • Malaria
  • Acne
  • Fever
  • Tuberculosis

Administered topically, orally or even vaginally, Neem extracts are antiseptic, contraceptive and diuretic.

Applications

Neem has many health and beauty uses, such as:

  • Skin or Hair Care – neem is a common ingredient in many commercial soaps and shampoos; skin creams work to kill bacteria and fungi that cause Athlete’s foot, Candida, ringworm and salmonella.
  • Oral Hygiene – in lieu of a toothbrush, folks use neem sticks to keep teeth clean and gums healthy; Neem is effective against gum inflammation or pyorrhea, tooth decay and mouth ulcers.

Pest Control

It’s been used as an insecticide and to deal with parasitic infestations, getting rid of fire ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, flies, gnats, beetles and termites, as well as a wide variety of garden pests. It does this without harming beneficial lawn and garden creatures such as honeybees, butterflies, worms and ladybugs, or birds and animals.

Other applications include:

  • Applied topically, oil of Neem works as a powerful insect repellent, keeping fleas, mosquitoes and sandflies from biting the skin.
  • You can apply the oil at home, on surfaces and corners to ward off fleas and flies.
  • Spray it on plants to keep cabbage loopers, leaf minors, flour beetles, gypsy moths and fruit flies from destroying your garden.
  • Neem is so strong it can kill slugs or snails, if applied to the soil.

In fact, Neem is highly recommended for gardens as it keeps the soil fertile and free from bacteria.

Precautions

While Neem oil has a low toxicity level and parts of it can be consumed as tea, the oil isn’t recommended for long-term ingestion as it may cause liver damage.