Origin of location: Southeast Asia
Botanical name: Azadica Indica
Extraction method: Cold Expeller Pressed or solvent extraction of the seed kernels of the Neem tree.
Color: Light to dark brown
Aroma: Strong odor. Combination of garlic and peanuts.
Benefits: Neem Oil is an antiseptic, an anti-parasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, spermicidal, insecticide and diuretic. It is used to alleviate dry, itchy, irritated skin and bacterial infections such as acne and boils. It can also treat eczema, psoriasis, head lice, fever and scabies. In hair it helps to promote healthy, shiny, moisturized hair. It may also prevent some types of hair loss and the premature graying of the hair. It can be used in nails to fight nail fungus infections and helps to prevent brittle nails. Neem Oil can be used as a great addition to shampoo as it can control dandruff and itchy scalps. On pets it can be used as an addition to pet shampoo in order to kill fleas or ticks.
Common uses: Neem Oil is commonly used in creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, cosmetics, pet cleansing products and hair treatment products. It is used mainly in treatments for skin disorders and skin care as well as in contraceptives and as a natural pesticide and insect repellent.
Shelf life: 10-12 months
Cautions: Neem Oil should not be used directly on the skin and should be diluted into other products before using on the skin. Can irritate the eyes. Avoid using if pregnant as this oil may be an abortifacient. Long term use may damage the liver. For external use only.
Vitamins / Minerals / Lipids Contained: It contains up to 54% of the Omega 9 fatty acid Oleic Acid and 33% Palmitic Acid. It also consists of 16% the Omega 6 fatty acid Linoleic Acid, 24% of Stearic Acid and steroids. It contains vitamin E and high amounts of the chemical azadirachtin. Azadirachtin is a regulator of insect growth, preventing the larvae from forming into an adult.
Plant / Oil History: The leaves, bark, twigs and oil from the seeds of the Neem tree have been used in India since 2000 to 4000 B.C. and was considered to be a cure all for any ailment. Today the Neem tree is a very important herb that is used in Unani and in Ayurvedic medicine.
Plant / Oil Description: The Neem tree is fast growing and can usually grow to about 65 feet. Although it is an evergreen it will lose most of its leaves in severe drought. It has a dense crown that is roundish and can reach a diameter of up to 20 meters. It has a straight, short trunk that can grow to a diameter of about 4 feet. The bark is scaly, hard and white-grey to a reddish brown. The root system of the Neem tree consists of well developed lateral roots and a powerful taproot. It contains pinnate, alternate leaves which are about 8-16 inches long with up to 31 medium to dark green leaflets which are 1-3 inches long.
The terminal leaflet is usually missing. It is a flowering tree wherein the flowers are arranged in drooping panicles. It bears up to 250 flowers and each flower is 5-6 mm long and 8-11 mm in width. Male and bisexual flowers grow on the same tree. The fruit of the tree is an olive like, smooth drupe which ranges in shaped from being an elongated oval to being nearly roundish. The skin is thin, the pulp is bitter sweet, fibrous and yellow white. The hard, white inner shell encases most commonly one but rarely up to three elongated seeds and these seeds have a brown seed coat.
Plant Habitat: The Neem tree thrives in sub-humid to sub-arid conditions. It prefers an annual rainfall of 400 to 1200 mm. It can tolerate many types of soil but grows best on sandy, deep, well drained soils. It grows well in tropical to subtropical conditions at temperatures between 21 to 32 C. It can tolerate temperatures which are very high but will not tolerate temperatures that are below 4 deg C. It is particularly noted for its drought resistance and can thrive in areas that are drought prone. It is often used as shade trees in these areas.
Storage: Store in a dark, cool area. It will usually become a semi-solid at room temperature. If this happens, place the bottle in warm water that is below 95 deg F as placing the bottle in very hot temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of the Neem Oil.