Discover the Amazing health benefits of neem oil.
In Indian mythology, the neem has a divine origin. When divine beings carried the elixir of immortality to heaven, drops fell on the neem tree, which gave it its miraculous healing properties. Found throughout the Indian subcontinent, Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have used the bark, leaves, flowers, seeds and fruits of the neem (Azadirachta indica) for centuries.
Neem comes in many forms, from oil to tea to honey. It is beneficial for your skin, hair, immune system, and more. You can grow it in your garden and use it as a natural insect repellant and herbicide, without chemicals. Here is everything you need to know about the health benefits and uses of neem oil.
What is neem oil?
Known as Indian lilac, Ayurvedic and siddha medicine practitioners in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and the Maldives have relied on neem through the ages to promote health.
In Sanskrit, people call the neem tree arista (which means “perfection, happiness, secure”) as well as the nimba, which means “to give good health”. It turns out that neem oil contains quercetin, a flavonoid plant pigment that acts as a powerful antioxidant with well-documented health properties. Neem oil contains several other active compounds, including nimbi, salanin, azadirachtin, and several fatty acids.
Neem oil is obtained either by cold pressing the seeds or by soaking the kernels of the crushed seeds and extracted with hexane. Cold pressing is ideal because heating removes active compounds and hexane can add unwanted chemicals. Hexane extraction is generally used for making soaps.
7 health benefits of neem oil
Different parts of the neem tree, including the seeds, leaves, flowers, and bark, contain a host of nutrients and plant compounds with beneficial properties for health. Over the past thousand years, natural health practitioners have prescribed its use for a variety of conditions such as snakebites, malaria, and even constipation.
Here are some of the most well-known health benefits of neem:
1. Supports digestive health
Neem has long been used to support gut health and digestion. In Ayurvedic tradition, the bark of the tree is used to relieve various stomach ailments, including gas and bloating. Research has shown that neem extract has gastroprotective properties: a 2004 study showed that 30 to 60 mg of extracts, taken twice a day, had a positive impact on stomach ulcers.
2. Helps with cleansing and detoxification
Neem’s support for digestive health goes beyond just helping your digestion. It turns out that the bark of the tree can help defend against intestinal invaders. Neem offers significant activity against various types of pests, especially those that affect the digestive system. By promoting good bacteria (probiotics) while deterring pests, neem promotes health and the gut.
3. Encourages healthy looking skin
Neem oil is also known for its benefits on the skin. Practitioners of Siddha medicine, a traditional practice in southern India and Sri Lanka, added neem oil to herbal preparations or made neem soap to help skin conditions such as eczema , psoriasis, ringworm and even leprosy.
You can find neem oil listed as an ingredient in many natural cosmetics, soaps, and anti-aging products. The fatty acids, vitamins, and powerful antioxidants in neem are great for helping rejuvenate the skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
4. Promotes healthier hair
The benefits of neem also extend to your hair, helping to make it stronger and thicker. Using neem oil shampoo helps improve scalp health with its antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, you will see healthier hair follicles. These same properties reduce dandruff by nourishing the entire scalp and deter candida, a fungus known to cause this bothersome dandruff.
Neem can also help you get rid of every parent’s nightmare – lice. Topical products made from neem seed extracts have been proven to kill adult lice in one treatment, but not nits (eggs), which you will still need to remove manually.
5. Improves oral health
Before they could buy toothbrushes in stores, Ayurvedic practitioners recommended that their patients use neem twigs to clean themselves and relieve sore teeth and prevent gum disease. It may come as no surprise to learn that today neem bark is an active ingredient in several natural oral health products, from toothpaste to mouthwash.
The antibacterial properties of neem help limit bacterial growth in the mouth, reducing the risk of swollen gums (gingivitis), bad breath (halitosis), and even more serious dental problems such as plaque build-up and tooth decay.
6. Can be used as a natural contraceptive
Research suggests that neem may have anti-fertility effects, acting as a natural birth control method. One study showed that neem leaf extract had a spermicidal (destroying sperm) action, reducing the motility of human sperm to near zero at a dose of 3 mg.
Studies have shown that applying neem oil intravaginally before intercourse prevented conception in rhesus monkeys, rats and rabbits.
Neem oil may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in humans, as well as in laboratory animals. The anti-conception effects were completely reversed after stopping its use in studies.
We do not recommend relying on neem for birth control; always consult your healthcare professional .
7. Acts as an antioxidant
Neem’s impressive health-related properties don’t end there. Scientists have discovered the powerful plant antioxidant pigment called quercetin in neem.
This compound, along with others, act as free radical scavengers, capturing harmful reactive oxygen species in the body. Neem also reduces premature cell death (apoptosis) of healthy cells, while helping to destroy harmful cells.
Researchers have found that neem can be an effective tool for promoting health. It is easy to see why neem is known as a “tree of miracles”.
The different forms of neem
Discover the different forms of neem supplements and applications:
Neem Bark: Neem bark is often ground into a powder which is then used to protect the gastrointestinal tract, to repel harmful intestinal invaders, as well as as an insecticide.
Neem leaves : Neem leaves can be used as a poultice or in herbal tea to reduce an upset stomach or fever and help improve heart health.
Neem Oil: Neem oil is made from the seeds of the tree. It can be used to help promote clear, healthy skin, for gut health, as birth control, and for natural parasite control. You can buy neem oil spray or pure oil which can be diluted as needed.
Neem herbal tea : Neem herbal tea is made from whole or ground leaves. Because it is bitter, it is usually paired with mixtures of herbs and spices, such as green tea, licorice root, fennel seeds, or orange peel.
Neem Honey: Neem honey is collected from beehives placed near neem groves. Honey can be used to help with stomach problems. It also has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Uses of neem oil
There are many ways to use neem, health-oriented or not. Neem has so many beneficial health properties that it is commonly used in personal hygiene, from improving breath to reducing wrinkles. Besides helping your health, neem can be used in your garden and for your pets!
To use the properties of neem that reduce wrinkles and strengthen the skin, buy soaps, lotions, oils, body and face scrubs. Due to the therapeutic properties of neem, you can also buy ointments, lip balms or just pure neem oil for various uses. Neem oil is a great natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, and dry skin.
How to use it : To relieve acne, dab undiluted neem oil directly on the pimples using a cotton swab. For larger areas of dry skin from psoriasis or eczema, add 10 drops of neem oil in a carrier such as almond, jojoba, or coconut oil in a glass bottle. . If you don’t like the scent, you can add a few drops of lavender or your favorite essential oil. Once mixed, you can apply it to your hands and then rub it on the affected area. If you prefer a less oily option, add neem oil with aloe vera gel instead. Do not apply pure neem oil if you have sensitive skin, as it can irritate. Instead of that,
Thanks to its ability to deter pests, neem has been used for oral health for centuries. Although we no longer use neem twigs as was done in ancient India, today you can find mouthwash or toothpaste that contains neem, as well as powder for teeth and gums.
How to use it: To improve your oral care routine, try these tips. Spread a dab of neem oil along your dental floss and use it as you normally would. This causes the neem to penetrate the gums and interstices that you cannot reach with just your toothbrush. You can also add a few drops of neem oil to your toothpaste or apply a drop or two along your gums.
Neem promotes hair and scalp health, reduces dandruff and keeps hair shiny. Hair products include anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner, and you can apply neem oil diluted in an excipient like almond oil directly to the scalp for dandruff or lice. Since neem is gentle on children, there are also shampoos and baby care products.
How to Use: If you want to use your own hair care products while still getting the benefits of neem, add ten drops of neem oil to three tablespoons of your favorite shampoo or lotion. Pure neem oil has a strong garlic scent, which is why many products combine it with other oils, like lavender oil or eucalyptus oil.
You can safely use neem oil on food crops to ward off aphids, mites, and other plant pests. It can also protect you from ants, mosquitoes, and other flying pests while gardening or when you are outdoors. Some people use neem oil to keep bedbugs away from their homes. The oil also has antifungal properties, resistant to mold and root rot in plants.
How to use: You can make a homemade pesticide. In a spray bottle, add a teaspoon of high quality neem oil to a quart of water. Add 1/8 teaspoon of liquid soap so that the mixture adheres well to plants and surfaces. You can spray this mixture directly on the leaves of the plant. Consult a local natural garden center to help you determine how much and how often to use the spray.
The insecticidal properties of neem can also help keep your pets healthy. When applied topically (to the skin), the oil can help dogs avoid irritating bites from fleas, midges, mites and other biting insects, even those that can carry worms or disease. Always dilute the oil to prevent irritation. Neem oil, when diluted, can provide relief for irritated and inflamed skin.
Neem oil should never be ingested by pets, as its ingestion can be dangerous for them. Some neem products are available in specialty veterinary stores, but you can easily make them at home. Neem can interfere with some medications, so talk to your vet about the use of this supplement to make sure it’s safe before using it on your pet.
How to use: To make insecticidal shampoo, add 25ml of high quality neem oil to 400ml of your favorite pet shampoo. Alternatively, if you prefer a daily topical spray, you can add a cup (250ml) of neem leaf to a quart of water. After simmering for five minutes, add water to a spray bottle to use as needed.
Side effects and safety of neem
In most cases, neem is safe and well tolerated in adults when used outdoors. People with sensitive skin should always dilute neem oil with a carrier oil. Internal use of neem oil may cause loose stools or vomiting. So use caution before consuming it internally. Based on animal studies, a safe serving of 0.2 mL / kg of neem oil has been suggested for adults.
Always choose the purest, highest quality supplements or oils, as some may be contaminated.
Neem can temporarily reduce male and female fertility, so avoid it if you are actively trying to get pregnant or trying to conceive within a few months. Studies indicate that its anti-fertility effects are quickly reversible after stopping its use.
Some studies suggest that excessive amounts of neem oil could be toxic and adversely affect the brain, kidneys, and liver. Neem is known to interact with a variety of medications, including common diabetes medications. As with all supplements and medications, talk to your healthcare professional before taking neem to make sure it’s right for you.
Points to remember
There is good reason that neem has a long history of use by practitioners of natural medicine. It offers many health benefits, including aiding cleansing and detoxification, promoting digestive health, acting as a natural birth control method, and deterring harmful organisms in the body, as well as in the home and community. garden.
Neem contains the powerful antioxidant quercetin, along with other plant pigments, fatty acids, and nutrients that work in concert to promote the impressive health benefits that are increasingly supported by science.
Neem is generally safe for use, but may interact with certain drugs and has anti-fertility effects. It should therefore not be used if you are trying to conceive a child. Consult a healthcare practitioner to find out how much neem is best for you.
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