The oil of Neem is absolutely wonderful. It is renowned world over, all the ones who once started to use the oil, still continue to do so for its various amazing health benefits. By health I mean the external as well as internal health of a being.
The Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) also known as indian lilac or margosa) probably originated in India or Burma. Neem is a large, fast-growing evergreen that can reach approximately 40 to 80 feet (12 to 24 m) in height. The tree is drought resistant and heat tolerant, and may live up to 200 years. It grows in many Asian countries, as well as tropical areas of the western hemisphere. Neem oil, which is extracted from the tree’s seeds, has been used for its medicinal and insecticidal properties for more than 4,000 years.
Since ancient times, man has utilized neem products for their pest-repellent properties. Neem has been shown to ward off sand flies and mosquitoes, aiding in control of the spread of diseases such as malaria. Neem oil has been used to treat lice and scabies, and tea brewed from the leaf of the tree employed as a termite control. Neem leaves placed in the pockets of woolen clothing are said to fend off moths; added to stored grains and beans, they help keep insects out. Neem products are included in some dog soaps and shampoos to repel fleas and ticks, and used as a cattle-feed supplement to kill parasites. The application of neem derivatives to bags and stored grains provides safe and relatively inexpensive protection against -
- Insect pests
- Reducing post-harvest losses in developing countries
Neem is considered harmless to humans, animals, birds, beneficial insects and earthworms, and has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for use on food crops. Azadirachtin and other active ingredients in the neem seed have insecticidal properties that are effective against a broad spectrum of insects, many mites and nematodes, and even snails and fungi, and do not seem to generate resistance in the pests they affect.
Neem products do not provide absolute insect control, but frequent applications can reduce pest populations dramatically by repelling them; inhibiting their larval development, growth, fertility, mating and egg laying, and deterring feeding. A solution of neem oil smothers insect pests and has antifungal properties as well — the oil coats the plant’s surface and prevents the germination of fungal spores. Neem oil can also be used as a safe, natural leaf polish.
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