Native to Indian subcontinent neem and its products have been used since times immemorial for holistic treatments. Oil from the neem plant is derived by the seed kernels. Scientific name of this plant is Azadirachta indica. The oil is bitter to taste and possesses a pungent smell, but it is the numerous health benefits of neem oil that outweighs the odor or the smell of the oil. Neem oil is extracted from neem seeds.
Why is Neem Oil unique?
Azadirachtin forms the main constituent of the neem oil. Apart from it the oil also contains nimbinene fraxinellone, nimbin, azadiradione, salannol, salannin, vepinin, nimbidin, vilasinin, etc. which are responsible to impart various health benefits of neem oil.
Health Benefits of Neem Oil
Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties of neem oil act effectively to treat various skin and hair ailments. While limanoids in the oil act as effective insect repellents, apart from 3 other active constituents nimbidin, nimbin, and nimbinene responsible for imparting other health benefits to neem oil.
Benefits for your Skin
Natural moisturizer: Neem Oil can be used as a perfect moisturizer for your skin, since it is enriched with Vitamin E, emollients, and essential fatty acids, making it the perfect moisturizer.
Anti aging benefits: Neem oil is used for enhancing as well as restoring your skin's elasticity, thus easing creases and acting as an anti-aging skin care secret.
Free from Zits: Due to the antibacterial properties comprised in Neem Oil, the chance that harmful bacteria would get deposited on your skin is completely ruled out. Thus, regular application of neem oil prevents uneven outbreaks and zits on your skin.
For treating Psoriasis : Psoriasis which is visually disturbing on the skin, can be treated by the use of Neem Oil owing to the anti-inflammatory attributes of this oil. It moistens and protects the skin taking care of any potential scaling that normally occurs.
For treating Eczema: The nimbidin and nimbin are two anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in the Neem Oil which helps in relieving the person suffering from Eczema.
For treating Ulcers: Skin ulcers are quite irritating as they are hard to disappear and it is difficult to find a formidable solution for their cure. However, Neem Oil, with its antifungal and antibacterial property soothes the ulcer till it completely gets cured.
To treat scabies: Neem, also used as an insecticide, is an enemy to the scabies mites. Not only does it eliminate these mites but also helps to numb the pain caused and soothe the itching and redness.
Beneficial for Hair
Hair care: Neem Oil is comprised of essential Neem leaf extracts, which beautifies the texture of your hair along with making your hair soft and manageable. This oil moisturizes and conditions your hair. Moreover the oil exudes a naturally unique scent which lingers on your hair throughout the day, even after your hair is washed. By using Neem Oil, you do not need to use any hair tonic or hair astringent in your hair care regime. This is because this oil rids the scalp off any lesions, irritation and fungal infections.
Mixed with other oils for hair benefits : Neem oil blends effectively with other hair care essentials such as Olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba. All of which can be combined to make your own home based hair conditioning oil. Neem Oil is best to be used overnight before retiring to bed. Massaging your hair once every fortnight can do wonders to your hair growth, by enhancing blood circulation in your scalp.
For eradicating lice : A diluted Neem oil with carrier oils such as olive oil or sesame oil can put to rest your head lice problem. Smother this oil mixture all over your hair and leave it on for some time for best results. Neem oil will eradicate your head lice completely owing to its insecticidal properties.
Beneficial for fingernails
With the regular application of Neem Oil, your fingernails will stop peeling because of the anti fungal attributes of neem. Also, the texture of your fingernails will be smoother and less brittle than before. In fact, fingernails are very much a part of your skin, and anything that works on your skin ought to also work on your nails. If your nails have dried out and require moisturizing, Neem oil is the best moisturizing treatment you could render them. Moreover, Neem oil is cheaper than most of the expensive moisturizing creams for your nails. You could massage your fingernails with one or two drops of Neem Oil regularly, and you will certainly notice visible results in a span of two months time.
Other benefits of Neem Oil
Benefits as a contraceptive : Neem oil when used as an active ingredient in suppositories and vaginal creams. It is a very effective birth control measure. The oil does not cause any skin irritation and is considered to have a success rate of almost 100 percent. Neem Oil acts as an effective natural spermicidal that is more effective than the chemically produced toxic ones. This oil is also said to prevent a number of sexually transmitted diseases. Studies have suggested that Neem oil can be used as a contraceptive effectively, both – pre and post coital. In other words, Neem Oil can be used as your birth control remedy, either before or after having sex.
Benefits as Antifungal : Yeast infections and thrush causing fungi can be effectively treated by neem owing to its antifungal properties. The oil is also toxic to fungi which cause fungus infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and candida. It is a safe and guaranteed holistic treatment for difficult fungal infections too.
Benefits to Immunity : Nimbin and nimbidin are two active constituents of Neem oil responsible for overall boost to immunity of human health. Because of these two components neem oil acts as antiviral and antibacterial agent thus helping prevent several diseases and curing ailments at a faster pace.
Antibacterial Properties : Several studies have reflected antibacterial properties of neem oil in curing much feared bacteria existing in food and water and ailments resulting from the same. Neem oil is known to cure inflictions as severe as blood poisoning, intestinal inflammation, and secondary infections like cystitis, peritonitis, and meningitis.
Antiseptic properties: Neem and neem extracts have been used in countries such as India for antiseptic benefits since ancient time. Neem is a great antiseptic and can be beneficial in several skin diseases such as eczema, burns, sores, etc. Neem oil is now used for several diseases such as – crofula, indolent ulcers, and ringworm. It is because of this there are many soaps available in the market with neem oil and claim to have antiseptic properties.
Benefits for dental problems : Neem was used (and still is) in many parts of India as a tooth paste. Understanding its benefits, several tooth herbal tooth paste firms have started using neem extracts in their tooth paste formulation.
Precautions while using Neem oil
Based on the information by Neem Foundation, there have been no serious toxic effectc reported against the usage of neem oil. But still, neem oil when consumed internally should be done with care and after medical consultation.