5 Top Skin, Hair & Health Benefits & Uses of Neem Leaves For Acne, Diabetes & Dandruff
I can only call these wonderful leaves a natures miracle because it does work it's magic in curing almost all the skin diseases. We have a very very huge neem tree in front of our house that is more than 100 years old. I am so fond of that tree and I always keep using the leaves for most of my remedies. Neem leaves are called Neem ke patte in Hindi, Vepa Aaku in Telugu, Bevinamara in Kannada and Vepillai in Tamil. Whenever me or anyone in family suffer from any skin disease almost 90 % of the time the first 2 ingredients that I reach out for is fresh neem leaves and turmeric. Neem leaves have anti bacterial, anti microbial, anti viral, anti fungal and anti inflammatory properties making it a very important ingredient that can be used for treating wide variety of problems. Now fortunately world over everybody are becoming aware of the wonderful benefits of neem. Since I have neem tree in our farm, I prefer to use the fresh leaves in all my preparations but if you don't get fresh leaves in your place you can easily substitute it with good quality neem powder from the markets. You can also dry the fresh neem leaves when you get it and store in an airtight box for future use. Latest research has proven the effectiveness of many of the traditional uses of neem leaves that was practiced by our elders. Neem leaves have been proven to have anti tumor activity, you can read about the study that proved it here. Neem leaves also has been traditionally used by diabetic patients and this use has been proven to be true, you can read about the study here. The anti bacterial activity of neem leaves has also been proven through clinical research and not surprisingly it was more potent than the other ingredients it was tested along with. You can read about the study here. Neem leaf extract also has been proven to be very effective against all the skin diseases and this use was well known to our elders as they used the leaf extract for treating many common skin diseases like acne and even others serious diseases including ring worm, eczema and scabies. It is also a very very powerful insecticide. It will be a great loss if we don't use this wonderful herb in our day to day life. Neem Leaf Side Effects: Neem extract has been proven to have reversible anti fertility properties, if you are planning on pregnancy I would suggest not consuming neem leaf extract. You can read about the study proving it's anti fertility properties here. I have given some of the ways I use neem leaves often below, hope you will find it useful....
5 Amazing Skin, Hair & Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses of Neem Leaves:
1. Neem Leaves Antiseptic Wash
This homemade antiseptic wash made with tamarind leaves has amazing medicinal uses. It can be used for cuts, wounds, allergies, skin infections, scrapes and is very effective in treating and healing wounds naturally. This antiseptic wash is made with tamarind leaves and neem leaves. Both neem and tamarind leaves have powerful antiseptic properties and together, they help in faster healing of the wounds. To make this antiseptic wash, first collect fresh tamarind and neem leaves. Boil water in a wide pan and once the water comes to boil, add the leaves all at once. Let it boil till the leaves change color. The color of the water will also change to light green color, switch off. Cool and use it as an antiseptic wash to wash the wounds. Try using it both morning and evening for best results.
2. Neem & Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair Growth:
This hair rinse made with neem leaves and apple cider vinegar not only treats itchy scalp but promotes hair growth too. Apple cider vinegar in the recipe is also the best to remove product build up. This apple cider vinegar & neem hair rinse also improves circulation in the scalp, treats dandruff, prevents hair loss and gives a nice sheen to the hair. This rinse is very simple and is made by making an infusion of neem leaves, water and apple cider vinegar. To make the rinse, boil 1 cup water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and a handful of neem leaves in a pan. Once the neem leaves have slightly wilted, remove from the fire. Cool and use it as a hair rinse. This hair rinse treats itchy scalp along with removing the product build up in the scalp.
3. Neem Leaves For Deworming:
I am sure many South Indians must have heard or used this remedy for deworming naturally. This remedy was so common for deworming few years back, but nowadays no one uses this method. It is a pill made of tender neem leaves, dry ginger, carom seeds and crystal salt (kal uppu in Tamil). In some homes, they only use the neem leaves and the salt. We call homemade pills kulikaikal in Tamil and usually different herbs are dried, powdered and made into pills. These pills are very effective and usually they are made during summer months, as we need plenty of sunlight to dry these pills. Since they are made of neem leaves, these deworming pills are very bitter, but they are very very effective in deworming. This medicine (usually 3 pills) has to be taken on an empty stomach. Dry ginger and carom seeds are also best ingredients for rectifying all the problems of the stomach. You can find the step by step instructions for making the pills here..
4. Neem For Acne & Acne scars:
There are good home remedies for acne and this remedy with neem is one of the best. This treatment for acne starts with a face pack which has got turmeric and neem leaves. After the face pack, neem oil is mixed with coconut oil and then applied on the face. Though it is a bit messy and time consuming to make the paste, this treatment is very very effective for acne. This treatment fades acne scars and prevents new ones from forming. Since this is a natural treatment please don't expect instant results, but if you use regularly it will give the best results. To make the face pack, rub a piece of organic turmeric on a coarse stone and collect the paste. Collect fresh tender neem leaves and grind it to a fine paste, add the turmeric paste and grind to a smooth paste. Now apply the face pack and wait for it to dry. Once dry, wash it off without scrubbing the face especially if you have a lot of acne on the face. Pat dry and apply coconut & neem oil blend and massage it gently well into the skin. At first you might find the smell of neem oil very irritating, but with regular use, trust me you will get used to it. And if you see the results, you might start loving it :)
5. Homemade Neem Mouth Wash:
In India, neem is used for dental health for centuries. The tender branches of neem tree were used as a tooth brush and this habit is still prevalent even today, though it is sadly diminishing. Especially, this homemade mouthwash made with neem, is very effective in treating gum related diseases. Making our own homemade mouthwash can be equally effective like a store bought neem mouthwash. To make the homemade mouthwash, collect fresh neem leaves, separate the leaves and the stalk. Don't throw away the stalk, cut them into small pieces. Boil water in a pan with crystal salt and the cut stalks of the neem. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add the fresh leaves and switch off. Let it cool, strain and bottle. I felt this method of boiling only the stalks and adding the leaves at the end, reduced the bitterness of the mouthwash. This mouthwash can be stored in the refrigerator and used regularly. People with swollen gums, mouth ulcers, mouth odor and bleeding gums will greatly benefit this homemade mouthwash. Try to use this homemade mouthwash regularly for few days both morning and night to get the best results. When we use this mouthwash, there will be a slight bitter taste but that will go away if you rinse your mouth again with water. To use, rinse the mouth with 1 tbsp of mouthwash after brushing twice daily.