Wonders of Neem Oil
I wanted to supply you some good information about Neem oil, s I get many questions about its use in Green Horse Organics Products. This wonder herb has so many uses and benefits its impossible to list them all. I found this information on the Dr Axe website which I find spot on. Healing and resisting insects are only a few of Neems benefits. Not the best smelling but totally worth its place in many GHO products- Fly spray, Baby Face, Roll on FLy Off, Natures Gold, and Herbal Hoof. -- Nancy
**Loaded with nutrients, neem oil is also used in natural skin care products because it contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental damage. Neem also helps fight free radical damage in the skin because it contains carotenoids, which provide high antioxidant compounds. As a result, cold-pressed neem oil and neem extracts are widely used in cosmetics such as soap, hair products, cosmetics, hand creams and pet shampoos.
Neem oil is usually comprised of a mixture of components. Azadirachtin is the most active component and is used for for repelling and killing pests. After the extraction of azadirachtin, the portion left over is called clarified hydrophobic neem oil. As reported by Current Science, it works as an effective non-toxic insect control agent to agriculture.
Since neem is also especially high in important fatty acids and vitamin E and can quickly penetrate outer layers of skin, it is extremely effective in healing dry and damaged skin.
Benefits of Neem Oil
** Combats Bed Bugs
The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that neem oil, when combined with with certain approved agents, can be safe and effective against bed bugs both at home and in commercial environments. Performance trials conducted show that neem oil helps control bed bug adults, nymphs and eggs.
**Azadirachtin is the important ingredient in neem oil that can help prevent unwanted pests from destroying plants. While there are other ingredients in neem oil spray that show insecticidal properties, azadirachtin is responsible for 90 percent of the effect of neem oil insecticide.
**The American Orchid Society also reports that neem has been shown to ward off sand flies and mosquitoes, aiding in control of the spread of diseases such as malaria. It has been used to treat lice and scabies, and tea brewed from the leaf of the tree has been used for termite control. Neem, in the form of leaves, can be placed in the pockets of woolen clothing to fend off moths and added to stored grains and beans to help keep insects out.
Neem products are often used as a cattle-feed supplement to kill parasites. Because neem is relatively inexpensive, it’s even has been helpful to reduce post-harvest losses in developing countries.
**Offers Wide-Ranging Skin Care — Smoothes Wrinkles, Stimulates Collagen, Relieves Dry Skin & Reduces Eczema and Acne
The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) states that neem oil is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs), triglycerides, vitamin E and calcium. Because of its EFAs and vitamin E, neem oil penetrates deep within the skin to heal the miniscule cracks brought on by severe dryness. Fatty acids present in the neem kernel oil are oleic acid (52.8 percent), linoleic acid (2.1 percent), palmitic acid (12.6 percent) and stearic acid (21.4 percent).
The fatty acids and vitamin E found in neem oil are easily absorbed into the skin without leaving the skin greasy. Once absorbed, these powerful properties work to rejuvenate the skin’s cells and restore elasticity. Benefit-rich vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing processes in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing.
Need also stimulates collagen production, good for aging skin. Indeed, if used regularly, neem may help smooth wrinkles and fine lines while helping to prevent the signs of aging. Neem oil may prove to be a natural remedy for eczema symptoms — including dry, red, itchy skin — and be very soothing, but it will not cure the root causes for eczema.
**There are anti-inflammatory compounds known as nimbidin and nimbin that help relieve swelling and redness. another compound known as quercetin supports the body’s ability to respond to inflammation by inhibiting both the manufacture and release of histamine and other irritants.
KNUST also states that neem oil, when used as a soap, is antimicrobial and helps people suffering from skin diseases such as acne because it can help to soothe irritation and inflammation by removing bacteria from the surface of the skin; therefore, preventing more break-outs.
**Neem oil has been used in traditional folk medicine and as a home remedy for acne because of the aspirin-like compound that helps rid the skin of bacteria. It also helps reduce redness and inflammation. The high fatty-acid content in neem oil is said to prevent and treat scars from acne and is non-comedogenic. The leaves are also an excellent exfoliant that can be used in a facial mask to pull out impurities and tighten pores.
** Mosquito Repellent
Neem oil makes for a great natural mosquito repellent that is safe to use. As reported in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, when 2 percent neem oil was mixed with coconut oil, then applied to the exposed body parts of human volunteers, it provided complete protection for approximately 12 hours from the bites of all anopheline species. They claim that the application of neem oil is safe and can even be used for protection from malaria in endemic countries.
If we are talking about a pesticide, just how safe is it then? Neem is considered harmless to humans, animals, birds, beneficial insects and earthworms, and has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on food crops and bed bugs. Azadirachtin and other active ingredients in the neem seed have insecticidal properties that are effective against a broad spectrum of insects, many mites and nematodes, and even snails and fungi, and do not seem to generate resistance in the pests they affect.
***History and Interesting Facts
The neem tree, Azadirachta indica, (also known as Indian lilac or margosa), is thought to have originated in India or Burma. Neem is a large, fast-growing evergreen that can reach approximately 40 to 80 feet in height. It is drought resistant, heat tolerant and may live up to 200 years! It grows in many Asian countries as well as tropical areas of the Western hemisphere. Neem oil, which is extracted from the tree’s seeds, has been used for its medicinal and insecticidal properties for more than 4,000 years.
The bark, leaves and seeds are used to make medicine. Less frequently, the root, flower and fruit are also used. The leaves are generally available year-round as the tree is evergreen except during severe droughts or if exposed to frost.
The major active constituents in neem are terpenoids, such as azadirachtin, which are considered to be antimicrobial acting as an insect repellant among many other actions. People in the tropics sometimes chew neem twigs instead of using toothbrushes, but this can cause illness; neem twigs are often contaminated with fungi within two weeks of harvest and should be avoided.The EPA goes on to explain that cold-pressed neem oil is a mixture of several C26 terpenoids that are naturally occurring organic compounds. Azadirachtin, the most common terpenoid in cold-pressed neem oil, is a federally registered active ingredient pesticide. Cold-pressed neem oil also contains steroids, fatty acids and a number of essential oils that are commonly found in a normal diet. These
the United States Food and Drug Administration.
- Article credit to Dr Axe Website for informational purposes.