Neem oil comes from cold pressing the seeds of the neem tree, Azadirachta indica, which is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia and Africa. Due to a bitter taste and garlicy smell, neem oil makes a great all-natural pesticide deterring both insects and diseases. We use it regularly on our farm for pest control and over-all plant health. Because it is high in fatty acids and loaded with nutrients it is also an excellent ingredient for our beauty products.
Neem boosts plant health by discouraging unwanted pests as well as fungus. I use the word discouraging because there is no guarantee of 100% insect control like you may find with a chemical pesticide. However, with consistent use it reduces pest populations dramatically by repelling them and inhibiting their larval development, growth, fertility, mating and egg laying, as well as deterring feeding. Since neem oil is natural there is an added benefit of promoting plant health. Yes, it not only reduces pests it can also make plants healthier. The American Orchid Society recommends using neem oil as a safe leaf polish. It is important to note that you should never use neem solutions on plants during hot weather (85 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer) or in direct sunlight. We are careful to spray our plants in the evening because we have no way of moving our vertical towers into the shade. Using neem oil instead of conventional pesticides is effective, while being less expensive, and environmentally friendly.
Neem oil is known as a natural cure for many skin-related issues. It is rich antioxidants, including carotenoids that help protect the skin from oxidative stress and free radicals, essential fatty acids (EFAs), triglycerides, vitamin E and calcium. The EFAs and vitamin E, help the neem seed oil penetrate deep into the skin to restore the protective dermal layer and lock in moisture.
What can Neem Oil do for the skin?
- Reduces scarring and lightens dark spots- Slows down the production of melanin which results in a clear and even-toned skin.
- Hydrates dry skin- The nourishing vitamins and fatty acids in neem oil make it an excellent moisture booster.
- Reduces Acne- Kills acne-causing bacteria from the skin and tightens pores.
- Reduces Signs of Aging- Antioxidants including flavonoids and carotenoids, reduce oxidative stress that result in aging. Including the reduction of lines and age spots.
- Relieves Sunburn- Neem oil is rich in nimbidin which relieves inflammation and soothes sunburn, eliminate pain and reduce redness of the skin.
- Psoriasis and Eczema relief- The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities can soothe the skin and relieve itching. Neem Oil should not be applied directly to the skin. It should be diluted with a carrier
- Boosts Hair and Scalp health- The fatty acid content is great for improving dry hair and nourishing the scalp. Its antifungal properties make it a natural dandruff fighter.
Neem Oil Studies:
- http://Neem Oil and Crop Protection: From Now to the Future (nih.gov)
- http://Neem Oil (aos.org)
- http://Neem Oil General Fact Sheet (orst.edu)
- Psoriasis: Causes, Triggers, Treatment, and More (healthline.com)
- http://Topical application of neem leaves prevents wrinkles formation in UVB-exposed hairless mice – ScienceDirect