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26 Apr 2008

Neem Oil

Often described as the most medically useful tree of all time, the Neem tree (Azadirachta indicahas), has been valued by the people of many parts of Asia and Africa for more than 4000 years. The bark, leaves, twigs, seeds, and sap are used.

Neem oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and astringent. It is also known as an excellent natural insecticide and fungicide. It consists primarily of saturated and of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, steriods and is rich in oleic (Omega_9), stearic, palmitic, and linoleic (Omega_6) acids. Neem oil is not used for cooking purposes but is used internally in Ayurvedic and traditional Asian medicine.

Note: Only use neem oil internally on the advice of a qualified practitioner. Although no major problems are reported, pregnant women and babies should not use it externally either, unless they are advised to do so by a qualified practitioner.

An excellent skin care oil. Neem oil adds moisture and elasticity to the skin and is known to heal many skin disorders like acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, head lice, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, and warts. Mix one teaspoon neem oil to half a cup of carrier oil, like almond, olive, coconut or palm oil. It has been used with excellent results against candida or thrush, without the side effects of many pharmaceuticals, and is good as a mouthwash when having sore gums.

Neem oil is used safely on pets to eradicate fleas, mites and dry skin. Just add a few drops of the oil to a handful of their shampoo when bathing them.

It is also wonderful for eradicating garden pests but is non-toxic to bees, birds and earthworms.. Add a couple of teaspoons to your watering can or spraycan water. Neem oil does not mix with water without an emulsifier, so also add a couple of squirts of liquid soap or shampoo to the water. Then water or spray the infested plants. Also add a couple of drops to you skin lotion to deter mosquitoes when gardening.

Neem oil is great when cleaning house. Add the oil to carpet shampoos and mattress sprays to kill dust mites. Add to liquid hand soap for antibacterial properties. As neem oil has a strong garlicky/sulfur smell you might wish to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil as well, to mask the smell if you do not like it. Lavender or lemongrass are good choices.

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Lepa Mask
From Martha Stewart Whole Living

"Lepa" translates as "medicinal plaster." This mask absorbs impurities. In a large bowl, combine 2 teaspoons each sandalwood powder, natural clay powder (available at natural-foods stores), a pinch of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon neem oil, and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice. Mix thoroughly and apply all over the face and neck, avoiding the eyes. Leave the mask on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.


Hand and Foot Treatment
From Martha Stewart Whole Living

To soften rough hands and feet, start by gently massaging them with a loofah or rough hand towel. Next, soak them in a tub of warm water infused with a few drops of sandalwood, rose, neem, or jasmine oils. Use a pumice stone to soften rough areas on the feet. To moisturize, make a solution of 1 teaspoon neem oil and 2 tablespoons coconut oil and massage into both hands and feet, focusing on the heels, soles, ankles, between the toes and fingers, wrists, and palms. Rinse with the juice of one lemon diluted in 1 cup warm water. Dry off with a soft, fluffy towel.


Dandruff and General Hair Mask

Add 1teaspoon of neem oil to 2 tablespoons of warm avocado oil. Apply oil to scalp, and massage into skin. Comb through. Cover hair with plastic bag or cling wrap. Leave on for 1 hour, then shampoo hair.


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10 comments:

Embracing Health For Life said...

Another unique info from you Julie.. Can I ask you for an exchange link ? I actually two have two health blog that I would like to exchange link with.. Let me know.. Have a great day...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I just used Neem oil to clear my son's eczema. It took 5 days and his skin is smooth again. I use neem powder for my hair and just used neem powder to create a face oil that seems to be doing wonders for my face.

So glad i discovered this blog. Will go look at your archives to learn some more.

Marion said...

Jackie, I have never used Neem Oil and did not know much about it, until I read your post. Thanks so much for profiling it.

I will try it against the mosquitoes, which, I'm told, are legendary for their size and amounts here. I haven't seen any so far, but I suppose the cold weather has a lot to do with that!

Wally Banners said...

hI jACKIE I miss you and your comments :(

Laane said...

Great post!

Neem oil was one of the only things that helped my exzema.

Thanks for advertising your entrecard with me.

Amabel said...

Great post as always. I've been checking your blogs a lot lately and I always find useful posts to read.

My Bug Life said...

Thanks for sharing tips on the hand/foot treatment. I have dry heels.

Naomi said...

I've never heard of this tree before Jackie. It sounds like it has a lot of great properties.

Susan said...

Hi there Jackie
Thanx for the lovely blog.
Where in South Africa can I obtain Neem oil?

greetings

Jackie said...

Susan you should find it either at your health shop or online at http://www.essentialoils.co.za/neem-oil.htm .