Neem is a common type of tree that is native to India. It has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and speed wound healing. In many areas the shoots and flowers are even used in cooking. Neem is known for its ability to repel insects, especially mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Azadirachtin, the main active component, has a strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effect. Though this amazing herb is toxic to insects and bacteria, it is perfectly safe for humans and pets. This makes it an especially useful herb for repelling biting insects without the harsh chemicals.
Neem contains many active ingredients that help to moisturize and hydrate dry skin. Essential fatty acids and vitamin E penetrate the outer layers of skin fast. This fast absorption is especially beneficial in healing dry and damaged skin cells. Neem oil is also helpful in restoring the skin’s natural elasticity. As a result it is often used in cosmetics for dry skin and anti-aging.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes inflammation of the skin. Symptoms include dry, itchy red skin that is sometimes swollen. For some, this itching leads to blistering and scarring. Neem moisturizes and protects the skin, making it a great topical for eczema. But its benefits for eczema don’t stop there. Neem is also anti-inflammatory, making it very useful for relieving swelling. Neem oil is an excellent analgesic and great for relieving painful eczema flare-ups.
Wound healing: Neem oil has been shown to speed wound healing. Many of its benefits work to speed healing, like its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. By moisturizing and restoring elasticity to the skin, neem allows the skin to heal faster.
Acne: As an antimicrobial, neem helps to reduce the bacteria levels on the skin that cause acne. Neem also soothes irritation and inflammation that can block pores.
Bug bites: Soothing irritation and inflammation makes neem great for treating bug bites. But try applying neem oil to the skin before heading outside. Neem has a bitter taste and garlic or sulfur smell that biting insects hate!
Neem has so many different applications, both topically and internally. In Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu study of medicine they calls neem Sarva Roga Nivarini, or “the healer of all ailments”. It’s no wonder considering it’s amazing ability to heal the skin, repel pests, treat parasitic infestations, all without any harsh side-effects.