Neem oil is the oil that is found by pressing the seeds and fruits of Neem tree- Azadirachta-Indica that is endemic to several places in the Indian subcontinent. Neem is a tropical tree whose commercially available products are used for making medicines and also in organic farming practices.
The color of Neem oil differs from golden yellow to greenish brown in accordance to its refining process and it has a very strong smell that resembles a mixture of peanut along with garlic.
Neem oil consists of several triterpenoid compounds that makes it taste bitter which are various forms of triglycerides.
There are several reasons for which this tropical bitter tasting plant oil, is beneficial to us. Some of the beneficial effects of Neem oil are:
Helps to form a glowing skin
Neem oil is loaded with several ingredients which are used for making a variety of skin care creams, lotions, soaps and cosmetics. Neem oil is a wonder cure for eczema prone skins and is also used for curing acne and psoriasis. It is also used for treating minor wounds and scars and is a panacea for curing dry and itchy skins.
The antioxidants present in Neem oil protects our skin from environmental damages. Carotenoids present in this oil diminishes the growth of free radicals which prevents the skin from ageing. Apart from this the essential fatty acids present in Neem oil also helps in rejuvenating the skin which aids in keeping the skin smooth and wrinkle free.
Protects against fungal infections
Neem oil is a very powerful anti-fungal agent that makes a reliable replacement for the OTC creams available in the market. Use of this oil prevents fungal diseases like nail fungus, ring worms and athlete’s foot. It has been clinically tested that Neem oil is effective against more than 15 different cultures of fungus. Nimbidol and Gedunin are the two anti-fungal chemicals that are found in Neem oil.
Helps in maintaining healthy hair
Neem oil when applied intermittently over the week results in growing healthy hair and scalp. Even when this oil is used with some other carrier oils like coconut and almond oil, the benefits of Neem oil can be found when it is used over a course of time. Neem oil is often diluted with other hair oils as apart from its strong odour, concentrated Neem oil may also cause reactions with sensitive skins.
Antiseptic dental properties
Antiseptic properties of Neem oil keeps teeth and gum infections at a bay. This is the reason Neem oil has often been prescribed in Ayurveda treatments for making tooth-powders, tooth-paste and mouth wash.
Manufacturing pet care products
Neem oil is used in manufacturing of several pet care products. Vet products made out of Neem oil are helpful for deterring ticks and fleas. This oil is also used for controlling hot spots and skin diseases like mange and scabies. Neem oil is often found added in shampoos manufactured for cats and dogs as this oil is a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal agent that helps in killing ticks and lice that often infest on to these fuzzy pets.
Apart from these Neem oil is also a very effective mosquito repellent and is even a solution for curing several diseases in plants.