Benefits and uses of neem oil: A healing herbal elixir

Neem is a valued tree in Indian culture and Ayurveda attributes medicinal values to every part of the tree. We look at some of the benefits and uses of neem oil.

Brief Info on Neem

Neem is popularly known in India for being the tree with bitter leaves which has medicinal properties in its leaves, young shoots, the barks, and the stems. Its stem is popularly used across India for brushing teeth even today and the young leaves are known to have medicinal value to cure diabetes. The tree itself is popular for acting as a mosquito repellent and burning leaves or planting its trees in residential areas is quite common.

The Neem Oil

The neem oil is one of the forms in which the goodness of neem is extracted in its concentrated form for various applications. Neem oil is extracted from neem seeds and has many medicinal properties. Most cosmetics including soap, shampoo, face creams and hair oil have neem oil as an ingredient. The oil is a naturally occurring pesticide with a bitter taste and pungent smell in its concentrated form.

Neem’s Many Properties

young calm woman pointing to her cheek

Neem is a rich source of Vitamin E and essential amino acids and fatty acids. It is mainly used for treating skin ailments, insect allergies, and malaria and is being studied for its properties to act as a natural contraceptive. A compound called Salannin found in neem oil is considered to be the most effective insect repellent. Another main ingredient of neem oil is Azadirachtin which works as an insect growth regulator. It prevents mosquito growth from larvae stage itself. Doctors recommend neem for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.

The Uses of Neem

Neem oil is applied topically for treating worm or insect bites. It has antifungal properties that can correct hair and skin problems, including dandruff and lice. In Ayurvedic medicines for treating urine infection or urinary disorder, and intestinal worms, neem oil is used as a key component. Consuming Kaadha, which is a mixture of ginger, tulsi leaves, crushed peppercorn in boiling water, with a few drops of neem oil improves immunity.

Applying a mixture of neem oil and sesame oil on skin infection can reduce itchiness and inflammation. By mixing neem oil with coconut oil and camphor and applying it, you can get rid of dandruff. Mixing it with water and applying it on blackheads, prevents its recurrence.

Adding neem in small measures to our lifestyle can prove to be a holistic way towards a healthy life.

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