People of the ancient East knew how to achieve clean, radiant, and healthy skin, make hair smooth and shiny, protect the body from parasites and infections, prolong youth, and enhance immunity. The secret lay in a tree. To be specific, in a precious oil obtained from the seeds of this tree. It is called the Neem tree. In the twenty-first century, scientists, with the help of laboratory research rather than sacred texts, were convinced of this plant's exceptional benefits and healing properties.
The Neem tree is considered to be sacred by the people of India. The Neem tree is said to have been a haven for the Sun when, according to Indian mythology, it had to escape from the evil powers of demons. Another Indian legend tells the tale of how a few drops of Amrita, meaning “ambrosia” or “the elixir of immortality,” fell onto the Neem tree. At the same time, it was being carried to Heaven, thus further establishing its encounter with divinity. The name “Neem” has its roots in the Sanskrit word “nimba,” meaning “bestower of good health.” In Hindu texts, namely the Vedas, Neem refers to “one that cures all ailments and ills”, and “sun ray-like effects in providing health.” Believed that a person who planted at least three Neem trees in their life would be guaranteed a place in Heaven.
Nicknamed the “Indian Lilac” and the “Margosa Tree”, this legendary tree has become a symbol of good health and protection from adversity. It was used in medicine to strengthen health and boost immunity, in households as a food and grain stock preserve, and as a natural pesticide and fertilizer. The venerated Neem tree has provided physical comfort in the form of shade against the harsh sun, and it has naturally repelled bugs and insects for those sitting under its canopy. There have been invented hundreds of ways to use various parts of this evergreen tree, leading the Indians to refer to it as the “village pharmacy”. Although its seeds, or “nuts,” are primarily known for yielding the beneficial carrier oil, the tree’s bark, leaves, roots, flowers, and fruits are also used to make medicine that applied topically, cosmetics, tea infusions, and insecticides. Variety of treatments based on the Neem Tree effectively fought fever, respiratory diseases, tetanus infections, rheumatism, arthritis, jaundice, malaria, ringworm, lice, skin infections of fungal and bacterial origin, scabies, eczema, psoriasis, and gastrointestinal disorders. The tree’s twigs were used to maintain oral hygiene, and the leaves were used in salads or were cooked along with vegetables. Produced neem gum for dry throat lozenges and ate neem fruits for their sweet pulp. The ancient Ayurvedic tradition is said to be mainly comprised of formulations that involve the use of Neem in one form or another. Historically, Neem Oil was even used as a topical contraceptive. Its vast range of benefits has made the Neem tree an integral aspect of Indian life and has become closely associated with the history of the Indian civilization.
The Azadirachta indica botanical, better known as the Neem tree, is believed to have originated in either India or Burma. When discovered that the tree can thrive in any warm, dry region, migrating Indians introduced it to other lands, including Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. It has a long lifespan of up to 200 years. This tall tree, with its widespread, is botanically related to the Mahogany tree. Neem tree fruits are usually produced once or twice a year. Their shape and size are similar to an olive; each fruit has a sweet white pulp and three solid seeds inside. Of all the commercially available Neem products, Neem Carrier Oil, obtained from the seeds, is the most important for cosmetics and medicines.
The ripened Neem fruits either fall from the trees independently or are shaken, picked, or stripped off the trees The pulp must be removed as soon as possible within 45 hours after the fruits are harvested, and can do this by rubbing pulp against an abrasive surface while they are still wet, then the fruit stones have been washed with water. In some regions, producers leave the cleaning of seeds to fruit bats and birds as they feed on the fruit pulp and spit out the cleaned seeds afterward. Because the seeds are distributed far and wide by these and other creatures such as baboons, Neem trees become “weed-like” in their far-reaching dissemination.
HOW IS NEEM OIL EXTRACTED?
Neem Carrier Oil is obtained from the fruits, seeds, seed kernels, or seed cake by cold-pressing, steam, high-pressure extraction, or solvent extraction. The first step of any method is to remove the pulp from the seeds and air dry the seeds in a cool room with low humidity. Next, the seeds have their husks removed before proceeding to the method of extraction.
In the cold-pressing method, which is the oldest method, fresh, light green kernels are crushed and pressed to release their oils, which are then collected. New seeds will produce oils that are light in color and that emit more delicate, more tolerable scents. Kernels that are old or rancid will yield dark oil and emit a strong, unpleasant odor similar to sulfur. Сold-pressing yields give the highest quality virgin oil consisting of all the active constituents. A second pressing yields an oil quality that is best suited for manufacturing soaps and insect repellents.
In the steam and high-pressure extraction method, the seeds are steamed to boost the flow of oils for the next step, which is subjecting them to high pressure to squeeze out their oils. In this method, the resultant oil is dark and emits an unpleasant odor, and the application of heat can potentially destroy the oil’s valuable properties.
In the solvent extraction method, the fruits are finely crushed and placed in a container in which they are soaked with an organic solvent, usually Hexane. In this method, many of the oil’s aromatic constituents, which are not soluble in Hexane, will remain, thus making the finished product suitable for health products and cosmetic applications. Alternatively, the seeds can be pressed first, which would result in a seed cake, which could then have any remaining oil extracted with the use of Hexane.
There are various colors of Neem Carrier Oil, ranging from golden yellow, yellowish-brown, reddish-brown, dark brown, greenish-brown, and bright red. The highest quality of Neem Oil is derived from Neem fruits that are picked from the tree.
The Neem oil’s significant feature is its smell, which can be likened to a mixture of onion, garlic, and rancid peanut butter aromas. However, in the composition of shampoos and skincare products, this particular odor is insensible. It is not used on its own in cosmetics; when concentration is low, the smell is easy to hide with the help of essential oils (e.g., sandalwood, lemon, or lavender essential oil).
The main chemical constituents
- beneficial fatty acids, such as Oleic Acid (Omega-9), Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Omega-6), and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3)
- Vitamin E and Vitamin С
- nimbin and azadiractin are unique ingredients that largely determine the healing properties of neem oil
Such a rich complex of fatty acids, vitamins, and active substances stimulates skin and hair growth; supports their softness, elasticity, and radiance; strengthens immunity, removes inflammation, and acts as an emulsifier and ideal cleanser.
As illustrated, Neem Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
Cosmetic: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, regulating, moisturizing.
Medicinal: antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antipyretic, antihistamine, analgesic, astringent, anthelmintic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, parasiticidal, pediculicidal.
USES OF NEEM OIL
The range of application of Neem oil in medicine and cosmetics is extensive: facial and body gels, lotions, creams, soaps, shampoos, and much more. Used topically, Neem Oil can soothe skin ailments such as inflammation, and it can reduce feverish body temperatures while eliminating joint and muscle pain caused by rheumatic disorders. Can apply Neem Oil to the skin as a toner that restores moisture to the face while removing pathogens beneath the skin’s surface to leave skin looking and feeling healthier and younger. To condition dry skin, Neem Carrier Oil can be blended with Coconut Oil before being applied. Add a few drops of Lemon or Lavender Essential Oil to this blend for a more pleasant scent. To control acne, mix Neem Carrier Oil with Olive Oil before it is applied to the face and left on for one hour. It can either be washed off after this time or left on the face overnight, depending on personal preference. To lighten areas of skin affected by hyperpigmentation and regulate melanin production, can apply a few drops of Neem Oil to these areas with a cotton bud.
Used topically, Neem Carrier Oil can soothe red, itchy, inflamed skin associated with ailments like acne, burns, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes, among others. Neem Oil works as a natural substitute for anti-aging products and protects against skin damage caused by UV rays. It deeply penetrates the skin to restore moisture, enhance elasticity, smooth wrinkles, stimulate collagen production, and heal cracks caused by dryness.
Neem Carrier Oil an effective agent for acne-prone skin; it gently unclogs pores and follicles, purging impurities, softens the skin to make it supple, facilitates the healing of scars, and soothes irritated skin without leaving a greasy residue. It evens out skin tone, restores a complexion, and brings out a healthy glow.
Used in hair, Neem Oil naturally restores hair’s health by giving protection against infections, removing dandruff and dryness, providing growth, and making hair smooth, radiant, and silky. It can balance hair’s natural pH level, preventing future dandruff. It not only detangles hair, but it prevents hair thinning caused by pollution, stress, or medication. Regular application of Neem Oil to the scalp moisturizes hair from root to tip, maintains the scalp's health, repairs split ends, prevents hair loss, and slows hair graying. Neem Carrier Oil can rejuvenate and fortify dull, frizzy hair by conditioning it to restore its luster and strength. An alternative to massaging the oil into the scalp is to add a few drops of Neem Oil to a shampoo of personal preference.
The oil is a powerful ally in the fight against nail and skin infections of varying origins: fungus, herpes, eczema, psoriasis, pediculosis, and scabies. Ointment or balm with oil accelerates the healing of minor wounds, cuts, and insect bites and is an effective repellent of natural origin. It has the property of enhancing blood circulation in the damaged area of the blood and promoting the consciousness of collagen fibers, which, as is known, form and strengthen the epidermis. Lotions of margosa oil will forever forget about warts.
Used medicinally, Neem Oil can be a powerful ally in the fight against nail and skin infections of varying origin: fungus, herpes, eczema, psoriasis, pediculosis, and scabies. An ointment or a balm with Neem oil soothe areas of skin affected by cuts, wounds, and mosquito bites. This method makes an effective insect repellant as well. It has the property of enhancing blood circulation in the damaged skin area and promoting collagen fibers, which, as we know, form and strengthen the epidermis. To remove warts, Neem Oil can be applied directly to the affected areas once daily until warts have disappeared.
Factory by-cosmetics uses neem oil in its products:
#Forhim after shave Hydrate,
Hydrate for oily-combination skin,
Only You Men's Deodorant.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR NEEM OIL
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR NEEM OIL Neem Carrier Oil is suitable for external use only. As with all other oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm using a dime-size amount of Neem Oil to check for sensitivities. Due to its potential abortifacient properties, which can weaken fertility or induce spontaneous miscarriages, it is highly recommended that the use of Neem Carrier Oil – a traditional Ayurvedic contraceptive – be avoided by women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Those with nut allergies should avoid using Neem Carrier Oil, as Neem seeds are essentially Neem “nuts.” For those with Autoimmune Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is best to avoid using Neem Oil, as it can boost the symptoms of these diseases. Neem Carrier Oil can also diminish the effectiveness of medications taken to prevent organ rejection by the body. Thus it should not be used by those who have recently undergone organ transplant surgery. Generally, Neem Oil should not be used at least two weeks before surgery, as it may lower blood sugar levels during or after surgery. For this reason, individuals with diabetes are advised to monitor blood sugar levels carefully if using Neem Oil. It may be necessary to change diabetes medication dosage.