You may have recently noticed that you are seeing the name 'Neem' popping up alot more in stores and on labels. Of course, if you are familiar with Earth to Body products, you may already know that Neem is one of our most versatile and favourite ingredients. Have you also noticed it on the labels of products at your local nursery or hardware store? What is Neem and why is it appearing on both your skin product and gardening labels? Read on to discover the origins and ancient connections of this incredibly valuable plant.
Neem originates from India and a tree that has been valued by the Ayurvedic Indians for over 2000 years. It's medicinal, pesticidal, and anti-parasitic qualities make it one of nature's most versatile and valuable products.
- In northern India, the bark of the Neem tree is used for treating wounds; in southern India it is considered a tonic and in the northwest it is prescribed for liver complaints and worm infestation.
- The leaves, fruit pulp and flowers of Neem all have antiseptic properties and can be used to treat wounds. These anti-bacterial effects are recognized by the many Indians who use a Neem twig to brush their teeth.
- The leaves are boiled and used to treat skin problems.
- The flowers can be eaten as a treatment against dyspepsia (indigestion).
- The oil and oil extractsare non-toxic to mammals and are very effective organic antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, dermatological and dental agents.
Neem’s Properties Make It Ideal for:
- Eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne, burns, tinea (fungal skin infections – including athletics foot and ringworm) and treating warts.
- Repelling insects from humans, animals and plants.
- Providing an excellent natural moisturizing base for skin care formulations as it is rich in fatty acids and glycerides.
Earth to Body has incorporated this amazing oil into many of their products:
- Soothing Oil (eases muscle and head pain)
- Emu-Neem Soap (heals, moisturizes and exfoliates)
- Nori-Neem Soap (a gardener’s delight-removes dirt while nourishing skin)
- Neem Salve (excellent for athletics foot, burns)
- Neem Body Bar (repels insects while moisturizing skin)
- Clay-Neem Mask (literally drinks impurities from the skin)
- Argan-Neem Foot Cream (soothes and revitalizes tired feet)
- Moisturizing Lotion (a light and versatile lotion, ideal for the entire body)
Neem can solve your toughest gardening challenges:
- Neem has long been valued by Indian farmers for its action against agricultural pests and disease.
- With many communities across Canada (and worldwide) enforcing a total ban on herbicides and pesticides, people are looking at natural remedies to combat their toughest gardening challenges.
- Neem seed oil does not kill on contact, rather it inhibits feeding and reproduction.
- Neem oil mixed with water and a carrier (such as dish soap) can be safely sprayed on plants to repel insects (over 200 species including the dreaded lily beetle) and control diseases such as rust and powdery mildew. See our suggested recipe in this month’s gardening article.
Did you know?
- Ancient Indian texts refer to Neem as Sarva Roga Nivarini, ‘the curer of all ailments.’
- In India the Neem tree is referred to as the village pharmacy.
- It is said that a few drops of divine nectar once fell on the plant, gifting it with its curative properties.
- The sanskrit name nimba, is a derivative of the term nimbati syasthyamdadati - meaning ‘to give good health.’