All parts of neem tree has got wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses and neem oil is no exception. We use it for both hair and skin care extensively. We use it for treating dandruff, acne, scabies, eczema, wounds, lice. Some people also regularly apply neem oil in their belly button to treat skin problems.
Neem oil is a very very famous insecticide and pesticide so it is a wonderful mosquito repellent. In India it has been used from time immemorial as a pesticide. I feel so proud thinking how our ancestors have always chosen natural ingredients like neem oil that does not cause any harm to mother earth to do the job.
I would suggest you get a bottle of unrefined neem oil and always stock it at home. An other wonderful thing about neem oil is since neem does not need any pesticides, the oil we get in the markets are mostly pure. Also the neem oil we get in the shops is unrefined as refined neem oil has not much use so here is an oil that is cheap, organic and unrefined!
What Is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is the oil extracted from the mature seeds of neem tree. Personally I have never been without neem oil at home, I always have a small bottle of neem oil stacked in the pantry. You will also find the same in most of the homes in village sides as we use it a lot in remedies for livestock too.
Yesterday I was talking to my dad about neem oil and he mentioned an other use of neem oil that I had completely forgotten, neem oil is used as a massage oil for mild forms of paralytic attack! I still remember visiting a relative who suffered from paralytic attack when I was very young. He was regularly massaged with neem oil to increase the circulation in the area. Unlike other oils, pure neem oil is very cheap and can be got very easily.
How Is Neem Oil Made?
We collect ripe neem fruits and remove the seeds. The seeds are then sun dried till crisp. Once sun dried, we take the seeds to local oil mill and grind it along with jaggery to extract pure neem oil. The left over neem cake is used as a manure, it is also a very very effective insecticide.
Neem Oil Medicinal Uses:
Neem oil has very powerful anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral, anti inflammatory and insecticidal properties and has been used for it for centuries. We use neem oil for treating all kinds of skin and scalp problems like dandruff, itchy scalp, eczema, psoriasis and wounds. Since we are farmers, we use it extensively as an insecticide in our farm too. Neem oil is specifically good for women as it can be used as a vaginal wash for treating vaginal infections and traditionally women also used the oil as a natural and cheap contraceptive too. Since it reduces inflammation, we also use it as a massage oil for reducing knee pain.
Where To Buy Neem Oil?
We can buy neem oil in almost all the departmental stores in India and it is available very very cheap. If you can, try to buy cold pressed neem oil. Though regular unrefined neem oil itself is very effective, cold pressed neem oil is even more effective.
Neem Oil Side Effects:
Since neem oil is not internally consumed and mainly used for external application, there is practically no side effects unless you are allergic to neem. But if you are internally consuming neem oil, please know that it is toxic at certain amounts and I would highly suggest doing it only under medical supervision.
The only side effect of external application of neem oil I can think of is it’s smell, it is very unpleasant and very strong but in my opinion we should overlook it and focus on the wonderful benefits the oil offers.
But if the smell bothers you so much, you can combine neem oil with other oils, it will greatly reduce the strong odor. Women who are trying to get pregnant should not use neem oil as a vaginal wash as neem has contraceptive properties.
8 Top Hair & Skin Benefits Of Neem Oil For Dandruff, Acne, Scabies, Eczema, Wounds, Lice & As a Mosquito Repellent
1. For Dandruff & Itchy scalp:
Neem oil treats all the problems of the hair very effectively and is very effective in treating dandruff. To use it for treating dandruff, grind equal quantity of fresh neem leaves along with fresh holy basil leaves using yogurt and mix it along with 15 drops of neem oil and apply as a hair pack. This hair pack also treats itchy scalp very effectively.
2. For Lice :
Neem oil is great for treating lice and it has been scientifically proven too, you can read the study here. If you are suffering from lice infestation, remove the lice using a lice comb and then apply either pure neem oil or diluted with other unrefined oil a bit (so you can tolerate the smell), wait for 15 minutes before washing it off. If you use undiluted neem oil you will have the neem oil smell for 2 to 3 days and with subsequent hair wash it will go away.
3. For Face: Acne Cure
For natural acne treatment, neem oil is the best and the most effective. This neem oil treatment 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. This pack also is good for pigmented skin, you can find the method here.
4. As a Mosquito Repellent:
Neem oil is a very very good mosquito repellent and this traditional belief has been backed by research now, you can read about the study proving it here. Instead of using store bought mosquito creams I would suggest making your own mosquito repellent using neem oil, it does not harm the skin and can be put together very easily, you can find the link for making it here.
5. For Skin: Scabies & Eczema:
Neem oil is very effective for treating scabies. Scabies is a skin disease caused by a mite which causes intense itching. Usually conventional medicine for scabies causes skin irritation and since the patients scratch the affected area very often, it is very easy for the medicine to enter our blood stream leading to toxicity. Neem oil is a very good safe alternative, to use apply pure undiluted oil on the area and I would suggest leaving it on as long as you can. Neem oil can be used for eczema too which is an inflammatory skin disease that causes redness, itching and dryness.
6. Neem Oil For Dogs:
Neem oil is wonderful for controlling flea and ticks in dogs. It is much safer than normal flea and tick medicine powder that we get in the markets and it is also safer for the person who is applying. To apply, just rub the neem oil between your hands and rub it over the coat of the dog, you can also dilute it with other oil and use. Another tip is when giving a bath for your dog, mix the neem oil in the shampoo and then use.
7. For Live Stock:
We apply neem oil on the wounds of livestock to help heal it faster. Here in our village this is a very very common practice that everybody does with very good results. But since you are using neem oil on open wounds, make sure to get a good quality cold pressed neem oil. Neem oil can be used for treating wounds in humans too, I found a study proving the effectiveness of neem oil in treating wounds, you can read about it here.
8. Neem Oil For Plants:
Neem oil is a wonderful pesticide and even yesterday my son who is an avid gardener was applying neem oil for his plants after he found out that they were infected. All you have to do is mix neem oil with water and spray it over the plant. I would suggest 1 % concentration when mixing neem oil with water but you can increase or decrease the concentration depending on the plant and the infection.