Neem Oil, Leaves, and Seeds – 18 Remedial Applications from the Tree of Life
Neem oil is an extremely versatile wonder! The nut/seed oil can be applied externally and the leaves can be taken internally – for a wide variety of issues. The neem tree is often referred to as “The Tree of Life”. There’s no doubt that this evergreen lives up to its reputation!
The neem tree grows a variety of gifts for most everyone. The seeds and nuts are collected and cold pressed to make the oil for external use. The oil can range in color from light amber to dark amber and even golden amber with a touch of red. The leaves of neem are either sun dried or flash dried. They can be pounded into a powder for internal use.
I first got interested in neem because of its ability to repel insects naturally. I was looking for a replacement for that awful DEET, which I detested using on my skin. When I found out it was good for the skin, I mixed the oil with an organic oil and herbs I had collected from around the yard (rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano)! It’s been infusing about a year now and I use it on my skin regularly. The smell is wonderful!
*Note: The oil by itself smells rather repugnant and stinky – but that’s exactly WHY insects don’t like it!
Neem oil is rich in essential fatty acids and nutrients and has many similar characteristics of Tea Tree oil. It has antibacterial and antifungal therapeutic qualities and moisturizing and regenerative properties for the skin.
Preparation of External Application of Neem Oil
If you are using 100% pure neem oil like I do, use a few drops in your favorite lotion or shampoo. You can also mix it with a carrier oil (great for sensitive skin types) or alcohol, or use it directly on the skin since it’s mild and benign.
Internal Dosage of Neem Powder or Leaves
Neem powder (either loose or in supplement form) are available in a wide variety of strengths. I would start out on the low side and work up to stronger dosages.
Neem leaves (for tea) and sticks (for dental health) are also used for internal applications.
The BEST ADVICE is to read the manufacturer’s direction for use!
Neem Oil, Leaf, and Powder Treatments
Neem has healing qualities that make the oil perfect for calming down irritating skin issues such as rashes, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and athletes foot.
Because it’s anti-inflammatory, it can treat muscular pain and arthritis. Heat a few drops of neem oil with coconut oil and massage into sore joints.
Neem can also be used for dental health because of its antibacterial properties. The powder can be used in homemade toothpaste (with baking soda) or mixed with water to be used as a mouthwash to prevent gum disease and cavities. You can also chew on the sticks of the neem tree to keep teeth clean and fresh. It truly can replace your toothbrush!
Since neem is rich in antioxidants, the supplements can help fight off free radicals - which supports immunity.
Neem tea can effectively treat some types of intestinal parasites (like ringworm) and scabies.
Neem Tea Recipe
Use fresh or dried neem leaves to make neem tea. (A ratio of about one teaspoon (three to five whole leaves) per cup of hot water is generally preferred.)
Steep with boiled water for around five minutes or up to 20 minutes.
If you prefer a milder dose (which can actually be more effective for some health purposes), steep only a few pinches of dried, crushed neem leaves with boiling water.
In Ayurveda, neem is always mixed with other herbs. This serves a two-fold purpose -- to increase its efficacy and to balance it out and to keep it from tasting overpoweringly bitter.
As any tea, you can mix neem leaves with different tea leaves, herbs, spices, or honey.
Neem tea is not advised for pregnant or lactating women, couples looking to conceive children, children under age 12, anyone taking lithium, with auto-immune disorders, diabetes, organ transplants, or a surgery scheduled two weeks ahead or less.
Neem powder can act as a prebiotic which can help reduce GI tract issues like ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramping.
The supplement can be used to help support and stimulate kidney and liver function by helping to filter out toxins.
Making a paste with the powder can be used to treat warts and cold sores.
Neem oil can help resolve dry skin issues and frizzy hair by locking in moisture.
Neem oil can be used directly on the scalp to reduce dandruff and cleanse the scalp. It has also been used in traditional medicine to stimulate hair growth and prevent baldness.
Although research is ongoing, the high levels of antioxidants present in neem have been linked to reduced chances of developing certain types of cancer.
A powder paste used as a facial mask can be used to help reduce pore size.
Neem oil can be used to reduce hyper-pigmentation in the skin (age spots) by moderating melanin. Apply the oil directly to the area several times daily.
I have also read that it's great for facial wrinkles so I'm using the oil under my eyes!
To resolve fungal nail infections, apply a few drops of oil directly onto the affected nail and allow it to fully absorb. Repeat the application several times daily until it’s resolved, usually within a week.
Use neem oil as a hand sanitizer by mixing a few drops of neem with grain alcohol or vodka. Spray hands liberally, rub it around and allow to air dry.
The oil can be used to treat head lice. Warm 2 Tablespoons of the oil and rub it thoroughly into the hair and scalp. Apply a shower cap, leave on overnight, and wash out in the morning.
The oil can be used to help reduce the pain and redness of sunburned skin, which also helps prevent long term damage to the epidermis.
Lastly, neem oil can be applied externally to repel insect bites. Rub a few drops on your skin or clothing, or combine a few drops of oil with alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz it all over. The beauty of it is that you can feel good about leaving it on your skin!
Neem has been used for thousands of years for so many different remedial applications. The benefits far exceed the rancid smell!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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13 Impressive Benefits of Neem
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