What are the benefits of neem?

Neem is a natural herb from the neem tree, other names to which Azadirachta indica and Indian lilac belong.

The extract originally comes from tree seeds and has many common uses. Neem is known for its pesticide and insecticidal properties but it is also used in hair and dental products by individuals.

Learn about the benefits of neem in this article, as well as whether the use is healthy.

Benefits

Neem oil
Neem is a popular ingredient in natural hair and dental products.

Neem oil is a common pest repellant, effective against mosquitoes and sand fleas. Other neem forms can help controlling termites and repelling moths.

To repel ticks and fleas some manufacturers add neem to animal shampoos. They may also add it to cattle feed or grain for repelling parasites and pests.

Neem is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals which can influence the development of certain conditions. It is likewise a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Neem has antimicrobial properties and can function against different forms of bacteria, viruses , and fungi.

It may also have anti-malarial properties, because neem is effective against mosquitoes. Malaria is a parasite that some mosquitoes carry. This causes about 219 million diseases a year, and 435,000 deaths worldwide.

Uses

Neem is most commonly used in hair and skin care products. Some people take capsules from the neem extract, but at the present there is not enough study to know whether they have any medical benefits.

The oil is yellow or brown, and smells of sulfur or garlic. Has a strong bitter taste if ingested.

There is little research on the effect of the neem on hair health, but anecdotal evidence suggests it might be helpful for:

  • Dandruff: Neem is a popular ingredient in several anti-dandruff shampoos. Although there has been no research to support its use, neem is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-microbial, which may help reduce the symptoms associated with dandruff.
  • Lice: The results of a small study indicated that neem is an effective anti-lice and anti-nit agent. The study only tested 12 children with lice, but all were completely lice- and nit-free after treatment with a neem-based shampoo. No lice were present for 7–10 days after treatment, and there were no side effects.

Neem may also be found in dental products, including mouthwash, toothpastes, and tooth powders. Neem can minimize toothache pain and improve dental health by cleaning and relieving gingivitis in the teeth and gums.

How to use

Manufacturers occasionally add neem to hair products, such as shampoos and gels for styling. Some people often make their own hair care items by directly applying neem oil to their daily shampoos.

A neem oil may also be applied directly to the hair to help control frizz.

People can chew on neem twigs to help cleanse the teeth or relieve toothache for dental health.

Risks

 neem fruits
Some people may experience an allergic reaction to neem.

While experts generally consider the neem safe for use, somebody may have an allergy or sensitivity to it.

Consider doing a patch test before first using neem. Rub a couple of drops of neem onto a skin patch on the inner forearm to do a patch check.

Wait 24 hours, then look to the site to see if there has been a reaction. Any signs of discolouration, swelling, itching or irritation suggest that an person may be allergic to the oil and should stop using it again.

Children are usually more susceptible to pesticides such as neem oil although there is no clear research on the effects of neem in infants.

When using any alternative medication on an infant or during pregnancy, it is best to speak to a doctor.

Summary

Children are usually more susceptible to pesticides such as neem oil though there’s no clear research on the effects of neem in infants.

When using any alternative medication on an infant or during pregnancy, it is best to speak to a doctor.

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