Neem oil is a popular carrier oil that has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Asia. It is made from the seeds of the neem tree and has a wide range of uses, from soothing the skin to repelling insects. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what neem oil is, where it comes from, its benefits, and how to use it.
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is a vegetable oil that is made from the seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). The neem tree (commonly known as “Indian lilac”) is native to India and has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. To extract neem oil, the seeds are crushed and cold-pressed. The extracted oil is then filtered to remove impurities.
Some varieties of neem oil have a strong, pungent smell and can range from yellow to dark brown in color. Cliganic Neem Oil uses young green neem seeds, so it’s lighter in color and has a more herbaceous scent.
One of the main components of neem oil is azadirachtin, which has insecticidal and antifungal properties. Neem oil also contains beneficial fatty acids such as palmitic, linoleic, and oleic acids, which can help support healthy skin.
Today, neem oil is used in a variety of products, including soap, shampoo, lotions, and pest control products.
What are the Benefits of Neem Oil?
Neem oil has many benefits for the body, especially the skin and hair. Below are some of the primary perks of using it:
- Soothes skin
- Prevents breakouts
- Repels mosquitoes and lice
- Relieves redness and swelling
- Helps aid in the healing of minor cuts and scrapes
- Adds shine and luster to hair
- Conditions the scalp
Ways to Use Neem Oil
Neem oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the desired benefit. It’s important to note that some varieties of neem oil can have a strong odor, so it’s recommended to mix it with a different carrier oil like jojoba oil or argan oil, and to add a few drops of essential oil to mask the scent.
For skin and hair care: ½ teaspoon of neem oil can be added to lotions, shampoos, and soaps. A few drops can also be mixed with ½ teaspoon of jojoba oil and applied directly to the skin or scalp to relieve irritation. Or you can add 1 teaspoon of neem oil to a warm bath with your favorite essential oils to soothe the skin.
To repel insects: Neem oil can be used as a natural insecticide or mosquito repellent. It can be sprayed directly on the skin or clothing, or a few drops can be added to lotions and body products to ward off bugs. Many people also use neem oil to create their own DIY plant spray to prevent bugs like aphids and spiders from damaging their flowers or vegetable gardens. Check out this helpful recipe here.
Is Neem Oil Safe?
Neem oil is safe when used as directed, but should be used sparingly as it can be irritating to some people. It should also only be applied topically and never ingested. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to do a patch test before using any new product on your skin to make sure you’re not allergic. To do a patch test, apply a small amount of the product to a small area of your skin and wait 24 hours to see if there are any signs of irritation. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid using neem oil.
Now that you know a bit more about neem oil and how to use it, you can begin adding it to your natural skincare and wellness routine. Whether you’re looking to promote skin health or keep bugs away, neem oil is a great choice. To learn more about how you can use natural products to keep pests away, take a look at this article: 4 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes with Essential Oils.