I was first astounded by the power of neem years ago when an Ayurvedic doctor told me that it can be used as an effective natural birth control. Last week I was reminded of neem again, when another holistic doctor friend posted about neem oil as an insecticide to help keep away mosquitoes and other bugs. These two benefits are just scratching the surface of the uses and benefits of neem.
Neem is a flowering tropical tree native to India, Pakistan, and Malaysia, that can survive the worst of environmental conditions. All parts of the tree can be used for many benefits, and in East Africa, neem is referred to as Muarubaini which means “the tree of the 40” because it is known to be effective in treating at least forty diseases. Over 75% of Ayurvedic remedies contain neem because of its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic properties. In addition to the uses I mentioned above, neem is very effective in treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, gum diseases, malaria, chicken pox, fever, parasites, arthritis, rheumatism, bronchitis and more. Neem helps to facilitate wound healing, so it can also be applied topically to combat fungus, warts, cold sores, bee stings, bug bites, poison ivy, athlete’s foot etc.
One use that I thought was super cool and is useful for all the gardeners out there is that neem can be used as a natural pesticide and is effective against 500 or more pests! To do this just search for neem pesticides. It doesn’t negatively affect humans or harm beneficial insects, and it makes plants bitter so that they won’t be eaten. The oil itself can also be used as a moisturizer and is high in vitamin E (if you can stand the smell). Based on all the wonderful uses of neem, it’s safe to say neem oil is a great thing to have on hand in your home. You can also find a plethora of neem products in stores from soaps to lotions, but take care to understand what the other ingredients are. Whether your fighting acne, dealing with parasites, healing wounds, or trying to keep your garden pest-free, neem is a one stop natural cure that will meet your needs. -XoXo Raw Girl