What is Neem Oil?
How Can it be Used?
Neem oil uses are numerous, and the oil is obtained when the seeds of the neem tree are pressed. However, all parts of the tree have been used medicinally by Indians to treat all manner of conditions and disorders.
It came to the attention of the western world in the early part of the twentieth century, and numerous studies have been carried out into its effectiveness.
Neem extract is available in a number of forms including neem capsules and a range of personal care products such as neem oil soap.
The benefits of neem oil include:
- Use as an ingredient in skin care. Neem oil soap is available for purchase and is soothing for conditions such as psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The oil has long been used as a part of ayurvedic medicine for these conditions. Usual treatments for psoriasis include cortisone and coal tar but they have side effects. Neem oil has been clinically proven to have similar benefits without the side effects.
- The soap can cleanse and help to heal wounds. It has an antibacterial action which can help to heal acne-prone skin. Neem powder is extracted from the leaf of the tree and is also beneficial for acne. It can be made into a tea to cleanse the skin from the inside.
- It is an effective insect repellent. The Indians used the fresh leaves crushed against their skin to ward off bites.
- Neem shampoo or soap can be very effective against eczema to relieve the itching associated with the condition. A cream containing neem extract can be applied directly to affected areas after cleansing with neem soap or shampoo. The shampoo can also be beneficial for soothing an itchy scalp and preventing dandruff.
- Neem capsules can be used to help with the symptoms of rheumatism and reducing inflammation. The oil is considered to be detoxifying and helps to promote a healthy circulation. It can also help the systems of the body to function properly. A healthy circulation can help to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- External use of the oil can also be in the form of a poultice which can be applied to boils and skin disorders to promote healing.
- Neem oil is traditionally used to help fight the poisons from scorpion stings and snake bites.
- Products such as toothpaste and mouthwash containing a neem extract can help to fight bacteria in the mouth and prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
- Neem extract can boost the immune system so can be beneficial for sufferers of conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Neem Oil Side Effects
Neem oil has been used as a contraceptive and to improve menstrual blood flow, so should not be used by pregnant women. Those who wish to conceive should also avoid its use.
As most people will use the oil externally, it is generally considered to be safe. Using large amounts of neem internally should be avoided as it has been linked to reduced liver function.