The fact is undeniable that the oil obtained from Neem is the most powerful and highly antiseptic as compared to any other possible natural oil. The oil has properties that can give even the best of medicines a run for their money.
Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of Neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and has been introduced to many other areas in the tropics. It is perhaps the most important of the commercially available products of neem for organic farming and medicines.
Neem oil is derived by pressing the seed kernels of the neem tree. It is very bitter with a garlic/sulfur smell. A single seed may contain up to 50 percent oil by weight. Neem oil is an excellent moisturizing oil and contains various compounds that have insecticidal and medicinal properties. It is used in making shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, mosquito repellants, creams and lotions, pet products like pet shampoo, etc. It also contains vitamin E, other essential amino acids and some percentages of fatty acids. Neem oil is used for treating many skin diseases viz. eczema, psoriasis, skin allergies, etc. and is being studied for making contraceptives in India. A compound found in Neem Oil and neem leaves extract- ‘Salannin’, has been proven to be safer but more effective insect repellant than DEET. Neem provides protection from not only mosquitoes, but also from biting flies, sand fleas and ticks.
Neem oil is not used for cooking purposes but, in India and Bangladesh, it is used for preparing cosmetics (soap, hair products, body hygiene creams, hand creams) and in Ayurvedic, Unani and folklore traditional medicine, in the treatment of a wide range of afflictions. The most frequently reported indications in ancient Ayurvedic writings are skin diseases, inflammations and fevers, and more recently rheumatic disorders, insect repellent and insecticide effects.
Traditional Ayurvedic uses of neem include the treatment of Acne, fever, leprosy, malaria, ophthalmia and tuberculosis. Various folk remedies for neem include use as an anthelmintic, antifeedant, antiseptic, diuretic, emmenagogue, contraceptive, febrifuge, parasiticide, pediculocide and insecticide. It has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of –
Traditional routes of administration of neem extracts included oral, vaginal and topical use. Neem oil has an extensive history of human use in India and surrounding regions for a variety of therapeutic purposes.
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