What is Neem and How It helps in the Care of Your Skin and Hair?


If you like to use plants and herbs for healing purposes, you won't find many plants that will give you the numerous benefits that you get from the neem tree. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of neem, particularly for your skin and hair.
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Neem, scientifically referred to as Azadirachta indica, is a medicinal tree. It offers plenty of usages in several shapes and sizes. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and anti-infertility properties. All parts of Neem including seeds, leaves, flowers and bark have medicinal properties.


It is native to Indian continent. Typically, it is known as the ‘village pharmacy’ because of its holistic power to protect against several health complications. Let us explore some more details about it.


Since ancient ages, this tree is well-respected the history of natural medicine. It can treat various diseases and disorders ranging from malaria to bad teeth. Almost all parts of this tree contain medicinal benefits. Its seeds, leaves and barks have compounds known as limonoids with proven medicinal properties.


Neem is drought resistance. It can tolerate almost any length of high temperature. Typically this tree is grown in sub-arid to sub-humid areas, where the annual rainfall varies between 400mm to 1200mm.


This tree thrives in any types of soil, however, best grown in well drained deep sandy soil. This tree cannot stay alive below 4°C temperatures. At this temperature, leaf shedding is confirmed in addition to premature death.


Neem tree has various usages in a variety of sectors. Let us focus exploring some of them.


Medicinal Usages


For generations, Indian medical practitioners have made poultices from Neem leaves to cure skin diseases such as boils, ulcers, eczema, and ring worm. Pastes and extracts from Neem trees have also proven effective in treating various skin fungus conditions, including athlete’s foot and lesions in the mouth and vagina.


More serious diseases such as chicken pox and small pox have been treated with Neem tree pastes; and even people suffering from herpes and hepatitis B viruses have obtained relief from Neem tree preparations.


Ayurveda and traditional herbal medicine suggest chicken pox patients to sleep on neem leaves to get rid of the problem. The neem gum prepared from bark is typically used as a bulking agent and for the production of medicinal foods for diabetic patients.


Horticulture Usages


This tree offers a great resource for environment-friendly biopesticides. Limonoids found in the leaves, seeds and bark are used as an effective insect-growth controlling substance. The uniqueness lies with its ability to alter the life-processing behavior of the insect in such a fashion that the insect becomes unable to feed, breed or undergo through metamorphosis process.


Treating Acne


Neem offers great solution to acne and provides good support for skin elasticity. Its medicinal properties make it one of the effective herbal remedies for acne blemishes. For centuries, crushed neem leaves have been used to treat acne and improve the skin texture.


Neem leaves contain quercetin, a compound that aids the body in its response to inflammation which helps sooth painfully irritated blemishes and cool the skin. Acne eruptions that become infected at the surface can itch, and quercetin effectively combats this irritation.


To treat acne, you take some dried neem leaves ground them into a fine powder, mix with water and apply it on the skin. Or, you can mix a teaspoon of neem powder with a pinch of turmeric and few drops of neem oil. Apply this paste on the face and then wash.


Another way is to boil some neem leaves (about 50 leaves in 2 litres of water) till the water turns green. You throw away the leaves which have by now become soft and discoloured and keep the solution in a bottle.


When you bath, you add about 100 ml of this solution to your bath water. This works to rid the skin of infections, acne and whiteheads. You can also dip a cotton ball into this solution and wipe your face with it every night. This will clear acne, scars, pigmentation and blackheads.


You can prepare a face mask by mixing betonite clay with a few drops of neem oil. Apply the mixture on your face and wash off after ten minutes.


Or, you can just simply dab neem oil (which is extracted from crushed neem seeds) on the affected area a few times daily to cure acne. Neem oil is rich in fatty acids which hydrates and nourishes the skin.


Why not try a ready-to-use neem spray that can be simply sprayed on the affected area? After the spray, you may use a neem-based lotion to moisturize your skin and retain its suppleness.


Treating other skin conditions


Besides acne, the healing properties of neem is also applicable to other skin conditions especially those which don’t respond to typical medical treatment, such as psoriasis, eczema, ringworm and warts. Neem is also beneficial to skin by helping heal minor scrapes and skin abrasions because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Hair care


The extract of leaves, seeds as well as barks is effective in treating scabies, a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection. Human head lice can be cured with the external application of neem leave juice over the scalp.

A paste made of neem leaves boiled in water and honey, and applied to the hair, leaves it well-conditioned, without frizz and dandruff free.


Other Uses


Neem oil is 100% natural, biodegradable and is also high in antioxidants. In addition to treating skin diseases, i.e. eczema, psoriasis and various inflammations and fevers, this natural healing agent is also utilized as an insect repellent for humans as well.


It has the ability to enhance the immune system. Also its immune polysaccharides property makes it a future cancer cure. Apart from that, it decreases the blood sugar level and reduces the possible usage of insulin to 30%-50%; hence it is effective for diabetic patient.


The extracts are found to be beneficial for other diseases as well such as herpes, heart diseases, hepatitis, fungal infection, malaria, psoriasis, and ulcer.




Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should not use neem products.


It’s also best to keep neem applications away from mucous membranes, so you should not treat acne outbreaks close to the nostrils or eyes with a topical neem treatment.


Patients with a history of stomach disease or irregularities should not use neem leaf-based supplements.


Neem leaf contains active ingredients that may prove to be toxic in patients suffering from diseases of liver and kidney.


For more ideas on safe, cost-effective and natural skin care, simply click on DIY Beauty Skin Recipes


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