Neem oil: characteristics, properties, benefits and uses

Azadirachta indica oil, is extracted from the fruits and seeds of a meliacea known as nim (from Sanskrit नीम), an evergreen native to the Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladehs, Pakistan, Burma, Iranian islands), chosen as the official symbol of Sindh.

However, there are also plantations in Africa because of its anti-desertifying qualities, and in some US states.

Characteristics of neem oil

The oil can be found on the market in various colors: golden, dark yellow, reddish, brown, greenish and bright red.

Its typical smell is a middle ground between garlic and peanuts and if pure it is a bit pungent to those who do not know it, but it is thanks to this aroma and the substances it contains that it owes its beneficial properties.

It is composed mainly of triglycerides, although it contains many triterpenoids that cause its bitter taste. Its composition is: Omega 6 6-16%, Omega 9 25-54%, Palmitic acid 16-33% and Stearic acid 9-24%.

Properties and use of neem oil

The composition of neem has mainly two functions: on the one hand the repellent capacity that is given by the active ingredient, while on the other it has pharmacological and healing properties given by the presence of nimbine, both triterpenoids.

It also contains plant steroids such as campesterol, beta-sitosterol, sigmasterol. Excellentinsect repellent capacity is applied in cases of pediculosis (lice).

Especially when children are affected, this treatment is natural, minimally invasive and extremely effective.

We find products on the market based on neem oil or we can simply use it directly on the hair leaving it on for at least 20 minutes no longer allowing the louse to breathe: so we can eliminate it by combing the hair with the appropriate fine comb and rinsing the hair

In agriculture the same principle neem oil is used as a natural treatment to eliminate pests and harmful insects from plants especially from fruit trees.

The oil is sprinkled on the trunks and surfaces of the plant thus preventing breathing to the insect that will suffocate without any damage to the plant. This process is equivalent to the use of agricultural white oils.

In industrial use it is a lubricant for gears and wheels.

The use for health ranges from antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antifungal properties, to a use in herbal and pharmaceutical products, such as antidiabetic, sedative, febrifuge and diuretic ones.

Specifically, neem oil is used for skin problems, to strengthen hair, to support liver functions, to purify the blood and to balance sugar levels.

However, the products of this plant are indicated only for adults, since in children the risk of liver intoxication has been found. In any case, products for external use are tested and many remedies have been used for hundreds of years especially in India where the use is traditional since ancient times.

In cosmetics neem oil is used in the production of soaps, shampoos, creams, conditioners, toothpastes. The compresses with neem oil are a real panacea for the hair being very nourishing and leaves the hair shiny, nourished and bright after the treatment. Also on the skin it is indicated to moisturize it and is used as a massage oil.

In the kitchen of the neem plant, flowers are eaten in soups, and the leaves are savorable fried and crispy.

The use of plants for food purposes is called alimurgia and once the collection of herbs and spontaneous plants was common to enrich the tables in every season.

Did you know that

In its region of origin the nim is known as “sacred plant”, “cure-all”, “village pharmacy”, “natural pharmacy”, “panacea of every evil” and the medicines produced by this plant have a thousand-year history.

Ayurvedic medicine uses it to combat malaria, acne, fever, leprosy, ophthalmia, tuberculosis.

Recipe against lice

If the presence of lice is suspected and there is already itching on the head we can prepare an oil to eradicate this annoying parasite.

It will be enough to wash your hair with a neutral shampoo and take a vial of neem oils where we will add a few drops of Tea Tree (Malaleuca) essential oil .

We will cover the hair along the entire length, from the base of the hair to the tips and let it act for at least 15 minutes, better if we have the patience to get to 30 minutes.

With warm water rinse and remove the compress. In this way the lice will be eliminated and when the hair is dry you can remove any eggs and the remains of the lice with the appropriate comb.

The advice is to carry out this treatment on the 1st day, the 3rd day, the 5th day on the 7th day and the 14th day so that if any egg still hatches we will be sure to eliminate all lice.

Another secret is also to put on a perfume or a diluted essential oil, of a fragrance with a sweet aroma.

It will be enough to apply it behind the ears on the skin, and the lice will hardly return because the smell is unwelcome to lice.


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