Neem oil is from the evergreen, Neem tree or the Indian lilac, found growing in India, and parts of the Middle East. It is a very versatile plant that has a wide history in the folklore of Indian medicine and was used for many conditions.
Neem is high in Essential Fatty acids (EFA), Vitamin E, Calcium, Quercetin, and antioxidants, like carotenoids.
The oil is extracted from the leaves or the seeds of its fruit. It is used by major industries in many cosmetics, shampoos, toothpaste, and lotions for the skin and hair.
In India, Neem is referred to as ‘arista’ meaning “happiness or perfection”. It also is sometimes called ‘nimba’, meaning “to live in good health”.
Benefits of Neem Oil on Skin and Body
- Studies from 2012 to 2017 shows that Neem can help thinning skin, and dry, wrinkled skin with quick penetration to outer layers of the skin very effectively. It is rejuvenating for anti aging skin.
- Neem is a great all-natural pesticide against mosquitos even effective in killing bed bugs. It can help decrease the number of reported malaria cases if used before going outside in infected countries.
- It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal; helping to fight acne, eczema, nail fungus and athletes’ foot.
- Neem oil is good for oral health, in the tropics, people chewed neem twigs in place of toothbrushes. It limits bacterial growth in the mouth, reduces the risk of swollen gums, fights bad breath and even plaque build-up.
- Neem oil nourishes the hair and the scalp by fighting off the dryness of dandruff.
- It may even help by promoting gut health and digestion.
Neem oil can be used as a spray or mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut and rubbed into the skin for acne or eczema.
You could also use a Neem spray for an insecticide or rub a Neem oil and carrier oil blend on skin before hiking outside.
You can add a few drops of oil to your shampoo or lotion for hair and scalp treatments.
Neem can be used by rubbing some oil on your floss before cleaning your teeth and add a drop to your toothpaste or actually rubbing some on your gum line.
Neem bark powder or leaves can be used to take as a tea, internally for gastrointestinal issues.
One note of caution is to avoid Neem products if you have existing liver or kidney disease.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and Nutritional Health Consultant. Helps individuals start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness. Cindy is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur of several businesses.