Neem Oil, Organic
Therapeutic; beauty and hair products
The evergreen neem tree is native to Asia, cultivated widely in India and has become naturalized in Ghana, Kenya and Fiji. The tree is considered sacred in India where it is used in Ayurveda and termed the ‘village pharmacy’ for its extraordinary range of healing qualities. In Ghana, too, it has been associated with healing for centuries.
Neem oil is semi solid but turns to liquid when slightly heated – warm hands may provide sufficient heat or stand the oil’s receptacle in warm water. It is suggested that neem is used in a ratio of around 10% with other carrier oils, such as jojoba.
This dilutes and liquefies the neem to create massage blends or formulations for skin and hair care. As the strong, but pleasant antiseptic smell of neem suggests, it has the ability to fight infection. It also contains a highly active antimicrobial ingredient. As an insecticide, neem oil can be used to kill headlice, while being non-toxic for the human user. As an antifungal, it can be added to formulas for treating athlete’s foot and other such infections.
The moisturizing benefits of the oil, together with its antibacterial properties, make it excellent for treating eczema and skin conditions that are prone to infection. The rich essential fatty acids within the oil help restore moisture and elasticity, while the antibacterial and antiseptic agents disinfect and ward off toxic bacteria. Its antiseptic quality also makes it a good choice in skin formulas for acne.
The oil’s high vitamin E content gives it natural anti-oxidants – beneficial for their anti-aging, protective effects on the skin – and also gives the product a natural preservative, increasing its shelf-life.
The oil can be added to hair conditioner: after shampooing, leave the neem in for ten minutes before rinsing, to give a glossy, silky lustre.
Common uses: Lotions, creams, balms and haircare; soaps; toothpaste; skincare formulas for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne; antifungal treatments; elimination of headlice.