Neem oil – INCI: Azadirachta Indica
Neem oil is on the list of powerhouse ingredients used for everything from helping to strengthen hair and improving scalp conditions, to fighting against eczema and other skin conditions. And those are just a few of the external uses!
All parts of the Neem tree (leaves, seeds, bark, fruit and roots) have medicinal properties and have been uses for hundreds (probably thousands) of years. It can be purchased in powder, oil, extract and dried leaf form.
Neem, also called Margosa or Nimba, is anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It’s used to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth.
It can be added into almost everything used on the skin and hair including lotions, creams, pomades, and whipped butters.
Neem oil is made from the seeds and/or leaves, and is very strong. It has a pungent scent but please don’t be put off by it. Add a few drops to your favorite leave-in conditioner or DIY mix.
Neem oil can also be applied directly to the skin, or it can be added to a carrier oil like Sweet Almond, Avocado, Olive or Grapeseed. If you can’t deal with Neem oil at full strength, it’s okay to treat it as if it were an Essential oil by diluting it.
It has “moisturizing and regenerative properties” and contains vitamin E according to MountainRoseHerbs.com.
Neem oil has been used to treat athlete’s foot, to fight acne and to kill head lice. Some people even use 1 drop of Neem oil on their toothbrushes. I tried that with food grade 100% Neem oil. Oh the bitterness!! LOL! But my mouth felt good just from that one time.
Some people add Neem oil to the mix when they make acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis treatment soaps. Check out etsy.com for a list.
Neem powder is used in Ayurvedic treatments along with Amla, Shikakai, Hibiscus, Brahmi, Reetha (Aritha), Bhringaraj, and Kalpi Tone powders. Many people make a paste or a liquid and apply it to the hair and/or the skin.
Neem leaves can be steeped in hot/boiling water to make a tea. You can then use that tea as an after-conditioner hair rinse, or as the base for one of the DIY recipes found at curlytea.com. Some people use it as mouthwash.
Neem extract is another alternative for use in hair and skin products. The extract is the liquid extract from neem leaf diluted in grain alcohol and/or glycerin and water.
It’s also popular internally but has to be used under the “direct supervision of someone qualified in the administration” of Neem oil, according to MountainRoseHerbs.
If that weren’t enough, Neem is also powerful enough to be use as an insect repellent at higher strengths.
It is a powerhouse ingredient and would definitely be included into more products…if not for that scent! 😛
Recipe(s) using Neem Oil
+ Royal Niacin Face Cream with Neem