Neem has got a strong historical background in terms of its medicinal and cosmetic uses. People of the subcontinent consider it to be a “symbol of good health”, and they call it “village pharmacy” owing to its efficiency to treat various health issues.
Jenna Dewan, an American dance rand actress calls it “heaven in the bottle” to appreciate its multidisciplinary uses. Neem was the most searched skincare ingredient of 2018.
Environmental Pollution Agency in States declares it to be pretty much free from adverse effects. Neem is biodegradable and non-toxic. This feature makes it favourable for use as a pesticide. It is safe for birds, pets, fish, and livestock.
Following are the components of Neem that make it an impressive package to deal with plenty of problems:
- Oleic Acid
- Palmitic Acid
- Stearic Acid
- Linoleic Acid
- Vitamin E
If you are following our website, you will be pretty much familiar with the uses of most of these components. Otherwise, you will get an idea of most of them through this article.
Oleic Acid helps boost up the immunity and gives radiance to hair and skin.
Palmitic Acid acts as a superb emollient with good penetration power, preventing the sticky residual deposits.
Stearic Acid gives it sound cleansing effects. It does the conditioning effect on skin and hair to provide them with a smooth appearance.
Linoleic acid moisturizes the skin and hair and gives good growth to the hair. It acts as an excellent emulsifier. Hence, it can be used in shampoos. It also gives conditioning effects to hair and the skin, making it look softer than ever.
Vitamin E is known for its anti-oxidant properties to help decrease the ageing effects like wrinkles. It also helps in treating acne and removing the scars left over by the long-standing acne.
Another important component of Neem Oil us Nimbin and is specific to the oil. It gives the oil the characteristic anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-pyretic and, anti-histamine properties. Nimbin also decreases redness and swelling that can be due to any skin ailment.
Neem Oil is also enriched with Carotenoids. They act as anti-oxidants to decrease the cell damage and hyperpigmentation (caused by ultra-violet radiation, acne, or even due to skin tumours) It has the potency to repair skin, making it look younger. It does so, by increasing the regenerative power of skin cells and increases collagen and elastin. This results in giving a beautiful texture to the skin by increasing its thickness, elasticity, softness, and smoothness. Carotenoids decrease the overall water loss from the skin to keep it hydrated.
AZADIRACTIN, the determinant of Neem carrier oil quality is used as a natural pesticide. It is the percentage of this component that tells how good is the neem carrier oil for you.
1. Benefits as a Skincare Product:
Neem is famous for its use in treating redness, itchy skin, and inflamed skin. By doing so, a healthy skin glow is achieved. You probably would have seen Neem as the content of many anti-bacterial soaps and detergents. In 2019, Antibacterial properties of neem were examined in soaps containing Neem as content and results were positive.
Skin lesions that Neem Oil treats are;
Besides, it can also be used to cure burns or ultra-violet rays induced skin damage. Its outstanding anti-ageing properties make it suitable for use in middle age.
It goes deeper into all layers of the skin making it elastic with increased elasticity and collagen content. The high penetration power of this oil makes it a superb moisturizer evening out the tone of the skin and softens it. It eradicates acne-causing bacteria from the skin and cleanses it by purging out the impurities and afterwards, tightening the skin pores, anti-scarring agents in the Neem Oil mask the look and feel of the scars by healing them. All this results in a flaw-less skin that one can ever dream for.
In a study done in 2013, it was proved that faster healing and non-raised scars are resulting from the use of neem with normal saline. In 2010 an animal stud was carried out on rats to compare effects of neem compared with those of Vaseline on wound healing. The results were making Neem superior to Vaseline for wound cure. It does so, by increasing strength to give resilient tissue.
In another study that took place in 2014, it was shown that there can be a decrease in skin toxicity secondary to radiation therapy via the use of Neem Oil for the purpose.
Things that you should stay careful about:
- This oil should never be ingested. Keep it away from the reach of children to ensure that they do not ingest it.
- It has abortifacient properties so use it with care in pregnant women or those who are planning to conceive sooner.
- Those who have nut allergies should avoid using Neem Oil.
- One should do a patch test before the start of the regular application of this oil. For that, leave some oil on a patch of skin on any hidden body part like armpits. Now wait for 24-48hrs and see the results. If no acute skin changes are observed then it is perfect for use at any part of the body.
- Its use is contraindicated in Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- People with immune transplants should avoid using it as it can affect the overall immunity of its users and complications like tissue rejection can occur due to its effects on the dose of immunosuppressants.
- It should be discontinued 2 weeks before a major surgery as it can induce hypoglycemia in surgical patients.
- It can alter the dose of anti-diabetic drugs so it has to be used with care in diabetic patients.
2. Effects on Hair:
It prevents the scalp from dandruff and is an efficient cure to that. It also balances the pH of hair thereby preventing it from fungal or bacterial infections. It detangles the hair and prevents hair from getting thinner from pollution, stress or medication.
It helps to moisturize the hair and maintain the scalp healthy. It repairs split ends and decreases frizz. Neem is used to fortify dull hair by its conditioning effects to restore the lustre.
Neem also helps in the prevention of baldness and tenia alopecia. It also decreases the greying of hair.
3. Use as a Mosquito Repellant:
It repels the mosquito and can be used for the purpose in many ways. It can be applied to the skin or can be burnt to produce the effect. It can also be added to kerosene lamps. This, in turn, will prevent you from getting diseases like Malaria, Dengue in which mosquitoes act as vectors.
Dendy Engelman, MD, New York-based dermatologist says about Neem, “It helps s kills the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection occurring on the skin of the foot. It can be avoided by using open shoes and keeping the skin dry. If it occurs, Neem Oil can give a non-allopathic treatment to it. Dr Engleman, an MD dermatologist, recommends combining Neem with Karanga oil. He says, “It provides additional conditioning to soften and smooth the feet”.
4. Detoxification of Blood:
Neem can strengthen the immune system. It detoxifies the blood and maintains the healthy circulatory, digestive and respiratory system. This makes the body healthy and toxins free.
Effects on the Liver:
Neem helps to improve liver functions. Detailed research is still to be done on this matter though. But so far, no negative effects of neem on the liver are observed so it can be used in chronic liver disease patients to compensate for the decompensated liver functions.
5. Use as a Pesticide:
Environmental Pollution Agency of America recommends Neem as a natural pesticide. Its advantage over other pesticides in the market is that it is safe for birds, pets and other livestock. It is biodegradable and non-toxic. Hence, it can be called an environmentally friendly pesticide.
6. Anti-Lice Functions:
Neem being a parasiticidal helps in getting rid of lice. It can be used to decrease both, head and body lice. This can not only be used on humans, but also livestock.
7. Treatment of Scabies:
Scabies is a communicable skin ailment in which a parasite attacks mostly the webs of fingers and genitals. It is caused mostly by overcrowding and spreads mainly by fomites. Parasiticidal properties of neem are used to treat this disease and help in its control if everyone who comes in contact with the diseased person uses it. Neem Oil can be applied to the whole body after taking a bath and bedsheets and clothes should be changed daily. Daily taking bath, and applying neem can bring significant change in the disease condition.
Summary of parasiticidal actions of Neem:
- Kills spider mites
- Kills ladybugs
- Kills ants
- Kills fleas
- Kills whiteflies
- Kills spiders
- Kills stink
- Kills powdery mildews
- Kills termites
- Kills lice
Summary of Cosmetic uses of Neem:
Summary of medicinal uses of Neem Oil: