20 Surprising Neem Benefits for Skin, Hair & Health
What is Neem?
Azadirachta indica is a tree species that is commonly known as neem. The neem tree is native to countries in South Asia and can be found in tropical areas. The neem tree grows tiny fragrant flowers that are white in colour and also bears fruit. Neem benefits leaves are known to have many health benefits and are available in many different forms such as oil, tea, powder, or the leaf itself. Here are some great benefits that neem can bring to you:
1. Neem Oil for Dry Skin
Being hydrophobic (a natural water repellent), neem oil is a highly effective skin conditioner and is excellent to use on areas of the skin that are exposed and washed frequently and tend to be more dry, such as the face, hands and feet. Neem oil creates a thin barrier on top of the skin and locks moisture in, leaving skin smooth and supple.
Neem oil is also rich in Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and research suggests that "Because of its EFAs and vitamin E, neem oil penetrates deep within the skin to heal the minute cracks brought on by severe dryness."
How to use Neem Oil for Dry Skin:
Moisturizing Skin Conditioner: Having a pungent odor, it is best to mix neem oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil (an excellent skin conditioner), and even add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to please the senses. Massage onto dry areas of your skin, especially the soles of the feet and cracked heels and feel the difference!
2. Naturally Detoxifies
Neem is known to have detoxifying properties. This works by boosting the liver and kidneys to help get rid of the toxins that our bodies may be storing. Getting rid of those toxins helps our bodies be healthier.
3. Neem Oil for Skin Pigmentation
Have pigmented skin? Neem oil is excellent at reducing skin pigmentation caused by an over-production of melanin (the pigment that gives human skin its color).
Neem oil can help lighten areas of the skin by regulating the secretion of melanin, and when used regularly, it reduces skin pigmentation, making the skin fairer.
How to use Neem Oil for Skin Pigmentation:
Skin Spot Treatment: For small areas take a ear bud soaked in a few drops of neem oil and apply directly on the pigmented areas of the skin. Test for sensitivity on the inner side of your wrist before using on exposed areas such as the face and neck.
4. Reduces Acne
Antibacterial properties found in the neem plant is beneficial to those struggling with acne-prone skin. Neem will help in removing the clogging bacteria found in pores and acne to reveal smooth and bacteria-free skin.
It also helps with calming down inflammation which is often caused by acne.
5. Healthy Skin
Neem will help clear away any bacteria that may be found on the surface of the skin and even bacteria that may be hiding in the layers of the skin. Using neem oil or neem powder in a face mask will help you achieve amazing skin results and will get rid of the clogging dirt that may be causing your skin to dull.
6. Neem oil for Acne
There's no doubt that using natural alternatives like neem oil and potent essential oils are far better than using chemically-ridden creams and face washes that can actually cause more irritation and dry out the skin, when it comes to treating acne.
Neem oil hampers bacterial growth and being a natural anti-inflammatory it helps to reduce redness and swelling. Vitamin E in neem oil helps heal damaged skin, reducing acne related scarring.
How to use neem oil for acne:
Face Mask: Warm 1 tsp. of olive oil and add 10-12 drops of cold-pressed neem oil. Not all neem oils are created equal, some may be more refined and contain added solvents, so make sure the bottle mentions that it is 100% cold-pressed neem oil.
7. Eliminates Dandruff
Neem is a popular ingredient in shampoos that aid in getting rid of dandruff. It helps nourish the scalp and brings out the natural oils to help hydrate the scalp.
Neem works at the hair follicle and that is why it is so effective. You can get dandruff free hair by using neem oil or mixing in neem powder into your favourite hair mask.
How to use Neem Oil for Dandruff:
Scalp Treatment: Massage 2-3 tsp. of warm neem oil directly onto the scalp. Wash in 30 minutes. It is best to use the highest quality of neem oil such as cold-pressed neem oil for best results.
8. For Great Hair
Take some neem oil and rub it into the scalp, leave it in for a while and wash. Neem oil can strengthen your hair, prevent hair fall and treat dandruff.
9. Strengthens Hair
Neem is known to have natural conditioning properties that will help hair become strong. Working at the roots, neem will strengthen each individual hair follicle while conditioning it. It also promotes hair growth so it is perfect for those struggling with hair loss or hair growth problems.
Neem has been used for hundreds of years in many different ways. This amazing plant is helpful to a variety of individuals suffering from different types of problems.
The neem leaf is the most common part of the plant and is used to extract neem oil or make a fine powder. No matter the form you decide to use, you will find that neem will help enhance your life for the better.
10. Neem Oil for Frizzy Hair
Does your hair seem to get frizzy during the monsoon season or when you're out on the beach? Neem oil is great for those who live in high humidity conditions and get rough, frizzy hair as a result.
Increased moisture in the air makes the hair absorb water and swell. Neem oil is great for combating frizzy hair because it has hydrophobic properties and is a natural water repellent.
It forms a thin coating on the hair protecting your hair from the environment.
How to use neem oil for frizzy hair:
Frizzy Hair Conditioner: Add a few drops of neem oil to 1 tsp. of a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage into the scalp.
You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to curb the smell of neem oil such as peppermint oil, or tea tree oil (another excellent essential oil for hair and scalp health). This will give the hair a nice shine and protect it from the elements.
11. Strong and Long Hair
Neem also helps in strengthening hair quality and promotes growth of hair. Neem paste is also used as a hair conditioner.
Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, neem is an excellent way to curb dandruff. This makes hair follicles stronger, thus encouraging hair growth too. It provides the required nourishment and conditioning to the roots.
12. Neem Oil for Split Ends
Split ends often happen when hair weakens and breaks at the end of the hair shaft. There can be many reasons why split ends occur such as harsh heat styling, damaging hair products, sunlight and more.
If you suffer from split ends trimming your hair regularly is recommended. To control split ends apply a few drops of neem oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil to condition and moisturize the hair and make it more manageable.
How to use Neem Oil for Hair Loss
1. Add to Shampoo: Add a few drops of neem oil to your shampoo. Let sit for 10 minutes and wash off. Use daily or every alternate day and see the difference!
2. Intensive Scalp Treatment: Combine 1 tsp. of neem oil to 2 tsp. of a carrier oil also beneficial for hair such as coconut oil, almond oil or castor oil (excellent for hair loss!). Leave over-night or at least for a few hours. Apply weekly to rejuvenate your scalp and get hair as smooth as silk.
13. Neem Oil for Lice
If you have head lice, there's nothing more annoying. Neem oil contains the active ingredient azadirachtin, nature's all-natural insecticide.
Many commercially available lice sprays contain neem as it is incredibly powerful in treating head lice but the downside is those sprays usually contain toxic chemicals which can do more harm than good.
Lice hate the smell of neem oil, so this home remedy below is an excellent natural treatment you can do at home to get rid of lice once and for all.
How to use Neem Oil for Lice:
Head Lice Treatment: Massage 6-7 tsp. of warm neem oil into the hair. Cover with a shower cap or towel and leave overnight. The next morning comb through hair with a fine nit comb, to catch the eggs. If itching continues, repeat.
14. Anti-fungal and Anti-Bacterial
Neem leaves are used to treat fungal and bacterial infections. They are used to treat warts as well as chicken pox. Either the paste is applied on the affected area or the person is made to bathe in neem water. It can also treat foot fungi.
15. Neem Oil for Dry Itchy Scalp
There's nothing more annoying than a dry, itchy scalp. Combining neem oil with powerful essential oils such as eucalyptus oil (an excellent anti-inflammatory), and peppermint oil (to provide soothing cooling relief) is a great way to nourish a dry scalp, curb itching and make your hair smell great!
How to use neem oil for dry itchy scalp:
Itch Relief: Combine 1 tsp. neem oil with 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2-3 drops of peppermint oil and 1 tbsp coconut or almond oil. Massage into the hair and scalp. Leave and wash after a few hours or leave overnight for best results.
16. Increases Immunity
Many Ayurveda experts recommend daily intake of neem capsules. Neem tea is also widely prescribed to reduce fever, especially the malaria one. Since neem tastes bitter, the tea acquires a similar taste but works magically.
17. Blood Purification
The strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of neem leaf powder flush the harmful toxins and other impurities from the blood & purifies the blood.
18. Regulates Healthy Sugar
The goodness of flavonoids, triterpenoid, anti-inflammatory element and glycosides in neem powder stabilizes the sugar levels
19. Boost Immunity
Regular consumption of Neem Powder will boost immunity and improve your overall heath.
20. Neem Oil for Teeth
There are many toothpastes and oral care products available in the market that contain neem as an active ingredient, and there's good reason why - it works! Neem oil helps in bacteria and plaque control and will keep your teeth strong and healthy.
How to use neem oil for teeth:
1. Add to Toothpaste: Add 2-3 drops of neem oil to a tiny amount of toothpaste on your brush. The neem oil will penetrate the gums and go in between the teeth reducing tooth decay. The taste of the toothpaste will also help curb the strong taste of neem oil.
2. Medicated Floss: Rub some neem oil on your floss before flossing. Again, this helps improve oral health as the antibacterial and medicinal properties of neem seep into your gums and teeth.
Potential Side Effects:
Essential oils and carrier oils like neem are natural but powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any oil so it's always best to try a little by doing a small skin patch test on your inner arm or leg (never your face or neck) to make sure you don't have an adverse reaction.