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Neem essential oil
A year or so ago I returned to Australia and my skin allergy on my neck was playing up. I was taking my anthistamine tablets and putting eczema creams on it but it was still red and itchy. I had put up with it for some time and when I was staying with my friend in Buderim she offered my some Neem essential oil as it was supposed to be very good for skin rashes etc. My friend makes her own soaps and is part Aborgine so knows a lot about herbal remedies so I gave it a try. She was very generous and gave me a small bottle she decanted from her large one. I am still using it because being a natural essential oil it lasts well.
WHAT IS NEEM OIL?
Well, not so strangely it originally comes from the Neem tree in India. The oil is from the fruits and seeds of the tree. Today Neem trees are grown in Asia, Africa, and in Central and South America the USA and indeed in Australia which is where mine was from. Neem trees are hardy and grow in a variety of temperatures and conditions so have adapted well around the world. Once established the trees can live for 150 to 200 years.
BENEFITS OF NEEM OIL
Neem Oil, as with many other natural remedies,has been used for centuries as a medicine. The oil is recommended for the relief of dry skin and it helps with the itching and other reactions from rashes and dry skin. It is said to help acne, boils and ulcers as well as the skin conditions like Psoriasis and Eczema. There are even claims that is is helpful with scabies and headlice though I can't say I have tried it on either of those.
In India this oil is used for soaps, cosmetics, hair products, hand creams and so on because of its skin benefits. Apparently it is also used to help with inflammations and fevers, and more recently for those suffering with rheumatic disorders.
It is also considered to be a useful , insect repellent and it is considered a natural antiseptic
It is now considered a useful ingredient in organic farming for getting rid of some pests and is it not known to cause any harm to any mammals, birds or even earthworms, butterflies, honeybees so that is handy for organic farmers who want rid of pests from the crops.
More worrying is that is has been found to have abortive effect on embryos so if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy then avoid using this stuff or anything that may have Neem oil in it.
One site I looked on suggested that Neem oil an be used on your hair and this will give you shiny hair and help with scalp irritations. I can't say I have tried that either as it is quite a strong smell so not sure I would want it in my hair.
Neem oil diluted can be used on animals as an insect repellent but remember about the abortive qualities so not on or near pregnant animals either.
HOW AND WHERE CAN I BUY NEEM?
There are many toiletries and creams that contain Neem which can be bought from natural health shops and on line.
The oil is also available from health food shops and places like Holland & Barrat and even on Amazon.
You can also buy capsules which help generally with skin and joints it is said but again I have no experience of these.
MY EXPERIENCE USING THIS OIL
This is a very dark red brown colour and obviously an oil. It should be diluted with a carrier oil but choose a carrier oil that is good for skin such as almond or olive or similar.
It has a very strong smell that is a bit like crushed garlic mixed with peanut oil. It is strong no question but I actually don't find it too offensive as it is sort of woody like the base notes of some perfume oils. I can't say I'd want to smell of this every day but it is not too offensive.
I have used this in carrier oils and various other creama sand lotions to dilute it as it is easier to massage into my skin with a bit more of a less pungent aroma.
I have also mixed a little of this Neem oil into my skin creams or face cleansers or moisturisers and then somehow it still has the benefits and the cream acts as a carrier to spread it around and it also lessens the aroma which is so powerful that people would notice if you used it neat during the day. Even though I don't find it too horrible I can see that I would not choose it as a perfume and I don't want to offend. I tend to use it in my potions and lotions that I use at night as then it works overnight and my husband doesn't mind it either so he doesn't get offended.
In fact he uses it too on his feet with the foot cream. It works well with Sudacrem as a foot cream at night if you put bedsocks on after to stop the mixture getting on the sheets. It really has helped with his cracked heels.
This is a natural product and as such its benefits vary according to the person and the ailment. It didn't stop my rash on my neck but I have found that not much helps that until I use a steroidal cream if it gets really bad. The Neem keeps it at bay if I catch it early enough though.
The Neem in various creams helps with my eczema and using it weekly I find my face skin is kept spot free and looking non red even in winter.
The best use we have found in in a foot cream or a thick cream on our feet as it really keeps them soft and crack free. I don't suffer from cracks but my husband does. It works on any foot sores which he gets too.
Once a week I add it to my hand cream and put my cotton gloves on in bed and again that helps with the red soreness in winter.
I have yet to try adding it to shampoo but will give it a try sometime soon.
IT IS NATURAL SO SAFE FOR ALL?
It is only to be applied externally and having got some on my lips by mistake it tastes foul so I can't really see anyone being tempted by it.
Caution with children and treating a child's fever is not recommended
Avoid any Neem products if hoping to get pregnant or if you are preganant.
Apparently Neem should not be taken by people with known allergies to aspirin and aspirin like substances.
Even though it is natural remedy if you are planning on using Neem or taking the Neem capsules I would strongly suggest asking an expert advice first.
Ask a vet's advice before using it on animals or near any that are preganant.
I am not sure I would buy another bottle but as it seems to be lasting forever I don't think I will ever have to. The smell is powerful and while I don't find it totally offensive it is like strong garlic mixed with peanut sort of powerful so may put a lot of people off.
I can't say that the results were so amazing that I would say rush out and get some. If you are interested then make enquires before buying is my suggestion and ask to smell it as this might well put you off.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.
***Why I want the product***
Due to the way my skin is at present, although I am going through a good period at the moment I am always on the lookout for the perfect product that will keep my skin clear and healthy. After more research I came across a product called Neem Oil, I know I had not heard of it either)
***What is Neem Oil***
Neem Oil comes from wait for it, The Neem tree in India. However, today you can find Neem trees growing in Asia, Africa, and in Central and South America. There are some located in United States and in Australia. Neem trees are easy to grow in a wide range of temperatures and conditions, and the tree can live for 150 to 200 years.
***What are the benefits of Neem Oil?***
Neem Oil have been used in many parts of the world for centuries, for medicine, animals, skin and much more. Neem relieves dry skin, soothes itching, redness and irritation. Helps with bacterial infections such as acne, boils and ulcers. Neem also helps conditions such as Psoriasis, Eczema, Scabies and Head Lice.
You can use Neem oil on the hair, Neem promotes healthy and shiny, combat scalp dryness and itching of the scalp.
***How else can I purchase Neem?***
Neem can be purchased in a soap and shampoo, which is also great way to use it on animals.
Neem oil on animals help to discourage biting insects, ticks and fleas and helping with skin disorders. Do not treat pregnant animals with Neem.
You can also purchase Neem capsules, which you take for a general all round health.
***What about safety?***
With Neem Seed Oil only use this externally.
Do not also take Neem Oil internally with capsules if you are trying to conceive.
Do not treat children's fever with Neem.
It should not be taken by people with known allergies to aspirin and aspirin like substances.
If you are planning to use Neem Oil on animals, as a capsule or anything else please read about it first.
I brought Pure Neem Oil, which came in a very simple 100ml plastic see through bottle with a white screw off lid. The sticker on the bottle told me the name of the company the name of the product and a warning to say under room temperature Neem Oil will turn solid, gently warm the liquid to turn liquid again.
Through the frosted bottle Neem oil looks dark brown and looks the same in my hand.
Use to me getting Neem oil back to liquid the bottle has been run under the warm water many of times thus making the sticker eventually come off but this is not a problem.
***Wow, what is that smell?***
Opening the white cap I am greeting with a very strong smell that smells like burnt onions, garlic, burnt rubber or rancid peanut butter to name a few, if you can think of other horrible scents then throw that into the bottle as well.
Unfortunately there is no getting anyway from the smell, that is what Pure Neem Oil smells like, but there are some new Neem products on the market that have scents to mask it like rose and sandlewood, but these are not readily available on the Internet.
***How to use this product for human skin and application***
If Neem Oil is all ready in liquid form you can simply pour a small amount onto the palm of your hand and mix in a little of your usual facial cleaner or moisturiser for the body mix in with a little body wash. You can also mix a little in with Aloe Vera gel. Personally I mixed a small amount in with my cleanser that masked the smell a little bit but the smell was still very strong and once the neem reached my nose area the first few times I used it I had to hold my breath until I got used to the stench. You cannot use Neem oil alone on the skin as with all oils it can cause a little irritation.
Rinsing my cleanser and neem oil off with a muslin cloth is easy and no residue is left behind apart from the smell. This is also depended on how much neem oil is used to how much it is detected by other people. For example when I use less product my husband can hardly notice, which is great for everyone as I know I do not stink to high heaven, but when I've used more he backs away from me.
***Did I notice a difference in my skin?***
After two months of us, yes and no. Neem oil takes awhile to work so patients is always needed like with any new skin care product. But the benefits that stand out more to me is when I notice my skin is more sensitive neem oil treats the sensitivity and redness on my cheeks especially. I also noticed my skin was less dehydrated looking and more plump. As with acne and spots, which is the primarily reason why I purchased, I cannot say I saw a massive improvement even after two months of use, but the redness you get with spots and blemishes was taken down due to the anti inflammatory affect, which also makes them easier to conceal with foundation and concealer. But I never saw a huge improvement in healing time. For other people it seems to work wonders, but it just goes to show what works for one may not work for everyone else, shame as I had high hopes.
***Price and availability***
amazon.co.uk for 100ml bottle costs £3.99 from The Aromatherapy Shop
***Would I purchase again?***
Properly due to all the other benefits neem oil can give, whether it is for yourself, animals, garden the list is endless.