Utilized for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, neem has long been valued for its numerous “anti” properties, including its antiseptic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, a tropical evergreen found primarily in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Every part of the neem tree has medicinal value. So much so that neem is considered a panacea in Ayurvedic medicine and is sometimes referred to as a “one tree pharmacy.”
- Neem leaf is utilized in Ayurvedic remedies to stimulate the immune system, detoxify the blood, improve liver function and promote general wellness of the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems.
- Neem oil, with its antifungal and antibacterial properties, has a curative effect on chronic skin disorders such as acne, dandruff, psoriasis and eczema. The oil relieves dry skin and soothes redness, itchiness and irritations.
- Neem is effective in pesticide control without harming pollinators such as bees, butterflies or ladybugs. When used as an insecticide, neem must be ingested to be effective. Consequently, only leaf eating insects such as mealy bugs, whiteflies and aphids are affected.
- The high levels of antioxidants contained in neem make it an extraordinary anti-aging ingredient for skin and hair products. Neem’s long chain fatty acids are believed to penetrate the outer layers of the skin to restore elasticity and provide long-lasting moisture.
- Neem’s antimicrobial properties are useful in wound healing and infection prevention.
- Neem’s extracts have been studied extensively for their chemopreventive and anti-tumor effects, which include inhibition of cell proliferation and enhancement of the immune response against tumor cells. Neem is used as an adjunct to radiotherapy and immunotherapy as it enhances the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents.
- Because of its antiseptic and antibacterial compounds, which help destroy the bacteria that causes gingivitis, plaque buildup and periodontal disease, neem is widely used in toothpaste and mouthwash. Young tender branches are cut in pieces and used as chew sticks to clean the teeth and gums.
- According to the Neem Foundation, neem’s powerful botanical extracts are a well known treatment for osteoarthritis and may provide long term treatment for chronic debilitating conditions. Neem helps to reduce joint and muscle pain and swelling.
- Neem is an effective non-toxic, environmentally friendly insect repellent for both people and pets. It efficiently repels mosquitoes, fleas, ants, ticks and lice. Neem also helps to remove intestinal parasites and restore healthy intestinal function.
- If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, you should not use neem, as neem is also an effective spermicide, aiding in pregnancy prevention.
- Neem is considered a powerful blood and system detoxifier and purifier, supporting natural cleansing of the skin and internal body.
- Neem powder, made from leaves, is often taken in capsule form to support the immune system and healthy blood sugar levels.
While all parts of the tree, including leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, roots and fruit, are utilized in Ayurvedic medicine, the leaf and the seed oil are the most effective. In its 2000 year history, the versatility of neem’s 140 compounds has been demonstrated in traditional Asian medicine. Over 100 medical uses have been discovered. Fresh or powdered neem leaves or teas made from the leaves are safe for daily consumption with no side effects. Neem oil, however, is a very powerful concentration of the herb. As such, neem oil should only be used externally and should not be consumed without the direct guidance of a healthcare professional.Neem Oil (Certified Organic) by Banyan Botanicals – Prepared in a base of certified organic sesame oil, neem oil promotes healthy skin with its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Neem Plus™ by Ayush Herbs – This proprietary blend of Ayurvedic herbals promotes healthy skin and provides support for the immune system and overall wellness. Also available in a veterinary formula for pet wellness. Neem by Himalaya Herbal Healthcare – This certified organic blend utilizes both stems and leaves for support of the body’s natural cleansing mechanisms, skin health and immune activity. Neem & Sandalwood Purifying Mask by Angelina Organic Skin Care – This Ayurvedic balancing face and body mask draws out impurities for smooth and supple skin, and provides an excellent weekly treatment for combination, oily and acne-prone skin.